Each year the Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America participates in the Scouting for Food community drive. Cub Scout packs and Scouts BSA troops place door hangers in their local neighborhoods requesting nonperishable foods and give the homeowners a date they will pick up the food. The Scouts collect the food and deliver the items to their local food banks. Each year, Scouts gather thousands of pounds of food that is distributed to families who need it most in their community.
For the 2022 edition, 786 boys, girls, and adults from 20 Cub Scout packs and 13 Scouts BSA troops participated, collecting over 26,000 pounds of food for various Chester County Food Bank distribution partners.
Mary Fuller, the Executive Director of Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) in Phoenixville said, “As you can imagine, our service numbers have greatly increased, in fact here at PACS we have seen a 200 percent increase in the number of families who visit us now over this time last year. That means, we are always looking for support, especially food donations. Your Scouting for Food initiative is a wonderful fit.”
She added that in Phoenixville alone, the 2022 Scouting for Food effort fed 238 families Thanksgiving dinner, with a total of 800 people fed.
Other economically hard-hit communities like Parkesburg/Atglen received more than 5,000 pounds of food from the combined efforts of their local Scout units.
Russell Bishop from Troop 135 said, “With the help of one of my Scout parents, we started putting a sign up along Rt 10 advertising our food drive. Every year our troops and packs come together to help pull off the food drive. And every year we are blessed to have a great response from our families to provide the extra hands and vehicles to collect and deliver all the food.”
Chester County Food Bank has a network of 160+ member agencies comprising such food distribution partners as:
- Food cupboards
- Hot meal sites
- School- and child-focused organizations
- Senior-focused organizations
- Healthcare providers
- Other community-based organization
The first line of defense against hunger and food insecurity for these service providers is their food pantry network, though they are not their only approach: Food insecure families in Chester County experience many barriers to healthy food access, some that are not easily addressed through the traditional food pantry model, making multiple food access channels essential.
More information about the Chester County Food Bank can be found on its website.
About Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America program is open to boys and girls from K–12th grade and promotes values such as being helpful with a focus on community service and citizenship. To find out more about its programs in Chester County, including the 2022 Scouting for Food project, visit cccbsa.org or beascout.org.