Published Friday, February 08, 2013
From Staff Reports
Local Boy Scouts will make their final Scouting for Food rounds Saturday, collecting donations of non-perishable food for needy Coweta County families.
Scouts went door to door Feb. 2, distributing grocery bags donated by Publix . Area residents are asked to fill the bags with canned items like soup, fish, stew, chili, meat, vegetables, beans, fruit, potatoes and peanut butter.
“Please, nothing perishable, frozen or in glass containers,” said Verna Funk, who heads the Coweta Scouting for Food campaign.
Funk said Scouts from the eight counties that make up the Flint River Council – Coweta, Fayette, Butts, Henry, Spalding, Pike, Lamar and Upson – will be out in their assigned areas to collect donations.
“These Scouts go door-to-door to collect to help their neighbors in need,” Funk said. “The Flint River Council is pleased to have the cooperation of the residents of Coweta County.”
Donations should be left at the end of driveways Friday night so Scouts can avoid ringing doorbells early Saturday morning. The large area covered during Scouting for Food means donations occasionally are overlooked, but residents can arrange for a pick-up by calling the Salvation Army at 770-251-8181.
Donations will be sorted at Toyota of Newnan before being delivered to the Salvation Army facility on Jefferson Parkway, where the food will be made available to families in need.
Salvation Army Service Center Director Stephanie May has been working to prepare the facility’s pantry to accommodate Saturday’s delivery.
“This is my third year participating in Scouting for Food,” May said. “Every year I look forward to seeing the Boy Scouts come together and serve in our county.”
Scouting for Food is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. It began as a Scout’s service project in St. Louis in 1985 and was adopted by the national organization in 1988. Locally, participating Scouts will receive a patch, also donated by Publix.
Residents who miss out on door-to-door collection still may take part by dropping off donations at Toyota of Newnan – 2 Herring Road, off Bullsboro Drive – between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Walt Gutierrez has offered the dealership as a Scouting for Food drop-off point for the past four years.
“This allows the Boy Scouts to sort and move the food to the Salvation Army pantry,” Funk said. “It also makes it easier for the food to be dropped off.”
Adds Chuck Brasfeild, Scout Executive for the Flint River Council, said Scouting for Food is not only the largest Scouting service project in the region but also the single largest food drive.
“Because of the work of Scout leaders and Scouts, Scouting for Food will provide food for needy citizens of our community,” Brasfeild. “For some food pantries, Scouting for Food is their primary source of food. Without Scouting for Food, people will go hungry.”
Stocks from the Scouting for Food drive usually stay in the Salvation Army pantry for about seven months, May said.
“Last year, we served over 115 families with Scouting for Food,” she said. “I rely 100 percent on this food drive. If we didn’t have Scouting for Food we would be in the community begging for donations.”
“All the donations brought into the center stay in Newnan,” May said. “We offer food, clothing, spiritual and financial assistance for residents in Coweta County only. Scouting for Food helps us provide food to those in need without spending any of our dollars, and because of that we can put our dollars toward utility and rental assistance.”
“The boys understand that their hard work pays off knowing they are helping so many others in need,” Funk said. “You don’t have to wait to join the Scouting program, if interested stop by this Saturday or call 770-227-4556 for more information. These programs foster in the youth of our state characteristics that strengthen communities and contribute to the health and welfare of Georgia’s less fortunate citizens.