Scouts from throughout Southington, leaders and families held a day of caring for those in need by conducting a food collection just in time for Thanksgiving. 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.
Scouts from Hamden, Meriden, North Haven and Wallingford, also part of the Sleeping Giant District of the Boy Scouts of America, also participated in Scouting for Food collections the same day, according to Jim Racca, volunteer assistant scoutmaster in Troop 43 in Meriden and chairman of the event for the past five years. He said the annual collection has been held for at least 26 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,” Racca said. “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.
On the morning of Nov. 8, the Scouts in Southington collected bags of food items that residents had left outside their homes and brought it to the church where it was sorted, boxed and marked before it was transported to the warehouse. Racca said that in Southington alone, nearly 300 volunteers (some as young as 6 years old) 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.
When the day was done it as estimated that approximately 11,000 pounds of food had been collected 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.
Photo courtesy of Bread for Life
Dozens of people collaborate in the sorting and boxing of food items donated during Scouting for Food in Southington. First Baptist Church of Southington has provided its fellowship hall to be used as the collection site for many years.