Scouting for Food donates tons of edibles to local charity

Scouts and volunteers box food donations during the annual Scouting for Food drive on Nov. 8.

Scouts and volunteers box food donations during the annual Scouting for Food drive on Nov. 8.

Scouts, leaders, and families across Southington held a day of caring for those in need with a food collection just in time for the holidays. On Nov. 8, Cub, Boy and Girl Scouts, leaders and other volunteers filled the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church in Southington to sort and box food.

The event was part of a region-wide effort from Scouts in the Sleeping Giant District of the Boys Scouts of America. The regional event has been held for the past five years.

“Each town has a coordinator and a troop that runs the food drop-off point, and they all devote an enormous amount of time to the food drive,” said Jim Racca, an assistant scoutmaster in Meriden. “The food drive begins the week before when the kids distribute over 40,000 bags to individual homes asking neighbors to help by making a donation. In total there are 44 Scout Units that participate and about 700 Scouting volunteers that are involved.” In Southington, Troop 17, which meets at First Baptist Church, coordinates the event.

Southington scouts collected bags of food items from local residents and brought it to the First Baptist Church where it was sorted, boxed, and marked to be transported to the warehouse. Racca said that in Southington alone, nearly 300 volunteers aged 6 and up, were involved.

“It was a very successful day in seeing all the Scouts, friends and family, board of directors members, and Kids Who Care (the Bread for Life youth organization), working together to make it all happen,” said Eldon Hafford, executive director of Bread for Life.

Officials estimated that the event drew approximately 11,000 pounds in Southington alone. In total, 30,000 pounds was donated district-wide, Racca said. The items will stay in the towns where they were donated.

“This is a great help during the holidays when the need is so great as many are stretching their dollars and there is not much left for food,” Hafford said.

“This was one of the largest food drives that we receive during the year, which enables us to provide for the homeless, seniors and homebound daily,” Hafford said. “There is a need right here in Southington and we could not do all that we do without the support from the Scouts, families and friends,” he said.

For more information about Bread for Life, visit the website www.southingtonbreadforlife.org or call the office at (860) 276-8389.

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