Since 1985, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has hosted its annual Scouting for Food Drive, one of the largest food drives across America. Throughout the past few weeks, Scouts from the BSA Grand Canyon Council canvassed local communities to collect food for local food banks, including United Food Bank in Mesa. As a result, 102,084 pounds of food were donated from the community and was recently delivered by local Scout troops and leaders. The food will create more than 85,000 meals.
Throughout the past 10 years, United Food Bank has received nearly 1.3 million pounds of food from Scouting for Food. The food then makes its way to the food bank’s service area of the East Valley and eastern Arizona.
Eastern Arizona has a hunger problem. Apache and Navajo counties have food insecurity rates of 26 percent and 22 percent, respectively, meaning that significant portions of their residents don’t know where their next meal will come from. When it comes to childhood hunger, these two counties have the highest levels of food insecurity in our nation – 42 percent and 37 percent. United Food Bank is the food bank for the East Valley and eastern Arizona, providing more than 26 million pounds of food annually to more than 200 partner agencies, the equivalent of 59,000 meals per day.
“Each year, we are impressed by the hard work and dedication our Scouts’ put forth for this drive,” said Jo Martin, chair of the United Food Bank board of directors “Their continued effort is a proof of the lessons and values scouting teaches our youth. We are incredibly grateful to the Scouts, their families and troop leaders, and to those who donate to their neighbors in need. Without everyone’s help, Scouting for Food would not be possible.”
If the Scouts were unable to cover a neighborhood, donations of non-perishable items are always welcome at United Food Bank’s Nina Warehouse, 245 S. Nina Drive in Mesa, Monday through Friday any time from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Online donations can be made directly at www.unitedfoodbank.org. Every $1 donated will provide four meals to hungry children, seniors and families in the East Valley and eastern Arizona.