Scouting for Food Drive is underwayFeb 01, 2021 09:49AM ● By Tom Haraldsen
BOUNTIFUL—The 35th edition of the Scouting for Food Drive has begun, with a few changes and some new partnerships than in years past. But the goal remains the same – helping food pantries and food banks throughout the state gather donations to feed the hungry.
At a kickoff event on Monday at the Bountiful Community Food Pantry, representatives from the Boy Scouts of America Crossroads of the West Council, along with sponsors and local dignitaries, outlined their plans for the drive, which will continue through Feb. 12. Scout Executive Alan Endicott said more than 400 Scouting units will be involved in the drive, to benefit over 40 food pantries and food banks. In all, 59,000 plastic bags will be distributed through sponsors to gather non perishable food items such as beef stew, chili, soups, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, and boxed meals.
“Gov. Spencer Cox has issued an official declaration this day for the drive,” he said. “We’re asking the public to help us fill these bags with nutritious, non perishable canned and boxed foods, and to drop them off at donation sites across the state.”
Bags will be made available at 35 Arctic Circle restaurants, 18 Bank of Utah locations and 11 Red Hanger Cleaner locations. Aubriana Martindale, corporate affairs manager for Smith’s Food and Drug, stated that “one in five Utahns don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We’re in the grocery business, but more importantly, we’re in the people business. It’s reported that 40 percent of all food goes to waste, but we don’t waste any at Smith’s, where we make food donations daily to food banks and pantries.” Smith’s will also be a collection point during Scouting for Food Day on Saturday, Feb. 6. Scouts will collect donations from shoppers at more than 50 local Smith’s stores. That date coincides with the national Souper Bowl of Caring Drive (held on NFL Super Bowl weekend). Scouts and the Utah National Guard will then deliver the donated food to the community food banks and pantries.
“It has been a year when changes have been made,” said Maresha Bosgieter, executive director of the Bountiful Community Food Pantry. “The need has never been greater, particularly during the pandemic when many people have lost jobs or had incomes reduced. So we’re thrilled and very grateful for the support of these businesses, the Utah National Guard, and of course the Scouting community for all of their help and hard work in support of this cause.”
“Life is about helping to lift up others,” Bountiful Mayor Randy Lewis said. “We serve the way we have since Biblical times – finding the needs of others and giving what we can.”
Those who pick up collection bags at Red Hanger or Arctic Circle locations will also receive coupons for dry cleaning or double cheeseburgers. The collective effort is expected to provide tons of donated food items.
More information is available online at www.utahscouts.org/scoutingforfood.