50 Boy Scout troops work to raise 100,000 meals during 2023 Scouting for Food event
Hundreds of local Boy Scouts canvassed several Amarillo neighborhoods Saturday morning, collecting monetary and food donations door-to-door during the 2023 Scouting for Food “Good Turn” program. The annual event benefitting High Plains Food Bank is traditionally one of the largest spring food drives in the Texas Panhandle.
According to Michael Lopez, Golden Eagle District Executive, last year, Scouts in the Golden Eagle District raised 72,840 meals, which was up from 13,862 meals. This year's goal is 100,000 meals raised, with the inclusion of new partners in Canyon, Hereford and Friona to further their collection efforts.
Zack Wilson, executive director for High Plains Food Bank (HPFB), stated in a news release: “Among the Boy Scouts’ Law are the characteristics of being helpful, friendly and courteous. ... These are the traits that the Golden Spread Council Boy Scouts exhibit every year with the Scouting for Food Drive. We are very thankful that our partnership is continuing again this year to help individuals at a great time of need.”
During the event, approximately 50 troops traveled door to door collecting canned goods and shelf stable food items to benefit HPFB. Some items collected include the food bank's top food needs, such as peanut butter, pasta/sauce, boxed dinners, and canned items including soups, fruits, vegetables, and meats.
"Their goal of 100,000 meals would go such a long way for us. The more that we raise here, the more we are able to help our neighbors and the more we can help people in our community that need it the most," said Zivorad Filipovic, the food bank's director of marketing and communications.
Filipovic added that with the rise of inflation and ending of certain benefit programs following the pandemic, they have seen a rise in community members seeking help from the food bank. The donations from the Scouts not only help the food bank to get ahead of that need and kick off their spring fundraising, but it also teaches the Scouts how to give back.
According to HPFB, every $1 donated provides up to 13 meals to children, seniors, and families in our communities. Around 10 a.m. Saturday, the Scouts had already raised more than half of their goal in just monetary donations, calculating to more than 58,000 meals. After the dropping off of donations, it was estimated that the Boy Scouts raised more than 8,000 pounds, exceeding last year's total of 5,000 pounds.In addition to food donations being dropped off at the food bank, donations were also accepted at WT Catholic Student Center, Canyon Cares Food Pantry and Hereford Food Pantry. Those donations will stay at each of those agencies for distribution to their clients.
Brandon Foglesong, Scoutmaster for BSA Troop 62, spoke about what the annual event means for the Scouts to give back annually.
"I believe we had about 40 troops participating last year and this year we have abut 50, and we have several drop-off locations in several different cities, which will all count towards our goal," Foglesong said.
"Each dollar here equates to 13 meals, so 100,000 pounds of food will be huge to create that many more potential meals. I have personally been a part of this for the past 18 years. I have seen how it impacts the community and these kids, and we enjoy doing it, so it's beneficial on both ends — our kids working to make a impact in their community and the food bank receiving these much needed goods," Foglesong added.
Final results for the total number of donations will be revealed Monday and will include monetary donations.
For those wishing to make a food donation, items will be accepted at the food bank's distribution center, located at 815 Ross St., or any other affiliated pantry. For more information or to make a monetary donation to HPFB, visit them online at https://www.hpfb.org/ .
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Boy Scout troops raise meals, donations for Scouting for Food drive