2021 Scouting For Food will be held on March 27, 2021
What is Scouting for Food?
Scouting for Food is a massive, annual, council wide food drive. This is an awesome (and easy!) community service opportunity for your group where scouts can easily help fight hunger locally. Each year, scouts collect thousands of pounds of food for food banks in the Chief Seattle Council area, and your hard work makes a big difference! In 2019 alone, scouts in Chief Seattle Council collected over 74,000 pounds of food.
This year things look a little different as many food banks are unable to accept physical donations. But scouts are resilient, so we are adding an option to collect virtual donations this year! Scroll down to learn more about the history of Scouting for Food and why it is so important.
When does this happen?
The official recommended collection day for Chief Seattle Council is March 27, 2021. This date was selected with the idea that we want to help neighborhood food banks fill their shelves at a time of year when needs are high and supplies are low. However, if this date does not work for your group, you can choose another date any time throughout the year that works better with your schedule.
How does it work this year?
Safety: In order to ensure that we conduct safe food drives this year, please follow the below guidelines when stopping at people's houses, regardless of whether you do a virtual food drive or a physical food drive:
- Only one household per vehicle- assign each household to a street (or side of a street) or set of blocks when dropping off flyers and picking up food in order to avoid mixing pods
- Participants should wear masks at all times when not in their family vehicle
- Wash hands frequently throughout the day
- If collecting physical donations, families should either take the donations that they collect directly to the food bank. If your unit decides to have one person take all donations to the food bank, they should collect the donations from families' cars while the family stays inside the vehicle
- Don't forget to wear your uniform!
Physical Food Drive:
Scouts choose a day (usually a Saturday) to go out and leave door hangers on people's doors in the neighborhood assigned to your unit. Your unit can request doorhangers by using the sign up sheet below and emailing it to Koby McInnis. The next week, your unit will go back to the same area and look for food bags on the door steps or at the end of driveways and collect them to bring them to your local food bank. If you choose to do a physical food drive, please make sure to call your food bank ahead of time to make sure that they are able to collect physical donations- you may also want to let them know when you plan to bring the food by so that they can be prepared.
Virtual Food Drive:
The virtual food drive will be collecting monetary donations in place of actual food. Scouts choose a day (usually a Saturday) to go out and leave door hangers on people's doors in the neighborhood assigned to your unit. Your unit can request doorhangers by using the sign up sheet below and emailing it to Koby McInnis. The door hangers will include a "grocery list" with food staples and the cost of each item so that people can choose to donate the amount equal to the food that they would have otherwise donated.
All donations will go to Northwest Harvest and the fundraiser will be run through GoFundMe Charity. For steps on how to set up your unit's virtual Scouting for Food campaign, please click here (link coming soon).
- Please note, if you do plan to do your food drive (virtual or in person) on March 27th, make sure to contact your district Scouting for Food Chair (see list below) to coordinate with them on where you are collecting the food and when/where you are dropping the food off, so that there are not overlapping collection areas and the food banks are not overwhelmed. You can report how many pounds of food you collected or the amount of money raised to Koby McInnis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Click SIGN UP button below to let Koby McInnis know the date your Unit will be collecting food.
ALPINE - Eric DePoule
The History of Scouting for Food
Between 1983 and 1985, the average number of households seeking emergency food increased by almost 40%. 70% of those seeking help were families with children. Seeing the desperate need of food banks around the country and wanting to do something to help, the Boy Scouts of America created the first (of many) Scouting for Food food drive in 1988. That first food drive involved over one million Scouts nationwide and resulted in the collection of over 65 million cans of nonperishable food. As the tradition continued to grow, Scouting for Food became one of the largest single collection and donation of foodstuffs in the United States.
Years ago, Scouting leaders approached food banks to ask when help was most needed. It was discovered that while many donations were received during the end of the year holidays, those donations tapered off in the quiet time after, causing March to be one of the lowest months in terms of donations received. By holding a large food drive in March, Scouting for Food helps supplement food banks and carry them through this slow period.
Why is Scouting for Food important?
According to Feeding America, 34 million people lived in poverty in America in 2019. Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, 35 million people struggled with hunger in the United States, including more than 10 million children- a number that has no doubt only increased as the pandemic takes its toll on the economy and families throughout the country. Even worse, children are more likely to face food insecurity than any group in the United States.
Prolonged hunger causes more than just discomfort. Malnutrition can lead to permanent tissue damage, stunt growth in growing children, and make people-particularly children and the elderly – susceptible to illness and infection.
But there is still hope! Hunger is a problem we can do something about by working together. In 2019, Chief Seattle Council collected 74,441 pounds of food as well as numerous monetary donations through Scouting for Food. Scouting for Food exemplifies our long-standing commitment to community service and embraces the scouting principle of doing a Good Turn Daily. Through this project the BSA directly helps meet the needs of the hungry, while teaching our scouts about the importance of helping others in our community, especially those who are less fortunate. You can also do your part to help by donating food or money to your local food banks throughout the year.
Food Banks by District (partial list)
Fall City Community Food Pantry
4326 337th Pl SE
Fall City, WA 98024
Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank
179 1st Ave SE
Issaquah, WA 98027
Mt. Si Helping Hands Food Bank
122 East 3rd St
North Bend, WA 98045
Des Moines Area Food Bank
22225 9th S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Highline Area Food Bank
18300 4th Ave S, Burien, WA 98116
West Seattle Food Bank
3419 SW Morgan St, Seattle, WA 98126
White Center Food Bank
10829 8th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98146
Click here to visit a comprehensive listing
Bremerton Food Line
1600 12th St, Bremerton, WA 98337
Central Kitsap Food Bank
3790 NW Anderson Hill Rd, Silverdale, WA 98383
282 Knechtel Way NE, Bainbridge Is, WA 98110
26096 W 1st St NE, Kingston, WA 98346
North Kitsap Fishline
18916 3rd Ave NE, Poulsbo, WA 98370
North Mason Food Bank
22471 Hwy 3 Belfair, WA 98528
South Kitsap Helpline
1351 Bay St, Port Orchard, WA 98366
HopeLink for Bellevue
14812 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98007
Hope Food Bank
Clallam Bay, WA
Makah Tribal Food Bank
Neah Bay, WA
Port Angeles Food Bank
402 S Valley St, Port Angeles, WA 98362
Quilcene Food Bank
294952 US Highway 101, Quilcene, WA
Sequim Food Bank
144 W Alder St, Sequim, WA 98382
Auburn Food Bank
930 18th Pl NE, Auburn, WA 98002
Kent Food Bank
515 W. Harrison St, Ste. #107, Kent, WA 98032
Maple Valley Food Bank
21415 Renton Maple Vly Rd SE, Maple Valley, WA
Renton Salvation Army
206 South Tobin, Renton, WA 98057
16725 Cleveland St., Redmond, WA 98052
11011 120th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033
Woodinville Storehouse Food Bank
17110 140th Ave. NE Woodinville, WA 98072
Rainier Valley Food Bank
4205 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118