Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from area troops and packs were out in their respective neighborhoods Saturday as the first step in this year’s annual Scouting for Food Good Turn.
Scouts from Pilot Mountain 545, Pinnacle 400 and Shoals 561 distributed bags throughout their communities with plans to return this Saturday morning to collect food for those with need in their neighborhoods.
Scouts from Pilot Mountain 545 gathered at First United Methodist Church Saturday morning, grouping with scout leaders and volunteer adults to cover routes in and around Pilot Mountain. Cub Scouts took the routes in town that could be covered primarily on foot while Boy Scouts were assigned the more rural routes.
As they visited area homes, scouts delivered plastic bags to be filled with food donations. Residents are asked to place non-perishable food in the bag and leave it on their front porch or driveway by 9 a.m. this Saturday morning. Those taking part are asked to omit glass and perishable items from their donations.
Scouts from Pilot Mountain Troop and Pack 545 will be meeting again early Saturday morning at First United Methodist Church before disbursing to collect the food donations. As in past years, they’ll begin their morning with a pancake breakfast prepared by troop leaders and volunteers.
Scouts and accompanying adults will then retrace the routes traveled last Saturday, collecting bags of food for donation to the Pilot Mountain Outreach Center.
Scouts will also be collecting food donations on Saturday in both the Shoals and Pinnacle communities.
The Scouting for Food Good Turn program was launched in 1988 by the Boy Scouts of America and the Old Hickory Council to help meet the needs of the hungry. The program has since become an annual project for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts throughout northwestern North Carolina.
Each year the project is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the organization of scouting in America. According to the Boy Scouts of America National Council, the Boy Scout organization was founded in Great Britain in 1907 by British military hero Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Two years later, William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher traveling in London, became lost in a fog. A young boy helped him find his way. When Boyce thanked the boy for his aid and offered him a tip, the boy declined, explaining that it was his duty as a Scout to help others.
Impressed with the boy’s actions, Boyce met with Baden-Powell and laid the groundwork to bring the Boy Scout program to the United States. With the help of Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard and James E. West, the Boy Scouts of America was established on February 8, 1910.
According to Troop 545 Scout Master Donnie Diamont, the annual effort is a point of emphasis for the scouts. Group leaders talk to scouts, making sure each knows why the food is being collected and how it will benefit their community.