On Feb. 20, a collection of Durango-based scouting troops completed their Scouting for Food campaign and delivered 5,231 pounds of food and $3,642 to the Durango Food Bank.
Scouting for Food is a nationwide program of the Boy Scouts of America, but the organization leaves it up to troops in each community to get together to plan how and when they’re going to collect food for a local food bank, said Ken Rice, leader of Cub Scout Pack 502. Cub Scout Pack 508 and Boy Scout troops 501, 537 and 538 also participated in the campaign.
“In Durango, we generally do it the second week or so of February ... because the food bank gets low on food after the holidays,” he said.
The five troops divided the city into neighborhoods, and each took a couple of neighborhoods and left notes on doors Feb. 13, asking members of the community if they have food they would like to donate and to place it out on their front porch in a bag or a box. The troops returned the next Saturday to pick it up.
“We were somewhat apprehensive this year because we know the community in general has had a difficult year and just didn’t know what amount they would be willing to contribute,” Rice said, “but we were pleasantly surprised.”
In an effort to be more proactive, this year, the troops also collected monetary donations through a link on Facebook and other social media. All of the money collected was donated to Durango Food Bank.
Rice said his pack collected 10 times the amount it has collected before. As a whole, the troops more than doubled the amount of food they usually collect.
“We appreciate the city of Durango, the community, for really stepping up and making a big contribution to the food bank,” he said.
He said the food bank’s participation in the event is also appreciated by the troops.
“They open themselves up for Saturday, and we come over there and there’s actually kind of a line of pickups from all the scouting troops that are there to unload the food,” he said. “It’s really a fun event, and it’s really a great thing for the scouts to participate in because, particularly for the Cub Scouts, it’s a really tangible thing for them to feel their contribution. Our Cub Scouts range in age from 6 to 11, and some of the younger scouts don’t really have a feel for community service, but they have a really good feel for food, so this is a really good activity for them.”