Nearly 700,000 residents in the DC, MD, VA area are in risk of hunger as local scouts kick off their 30th Annual Food Drive, Saturday, November 4.
"More than thirty million Americans, including six million children, go hungry at some time every month," says Les Baron, CEO and Scout Executive of the National Capital Area Council.
Scouts of all ages will distribute plastic bags to homes around the DC metro area on Saturday as a part of 'Scouting for Food' from the National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. It's one of the largest annual food drives in the metropolitan area. The following Saturday, November 11 after the bags are distributed, the scouts will return to collect non-perishable food items that will nourish the area's hungry.
DC has the sixth highest child food insecurity rate of any other state in the US. Almost 30 percent of children under 18 years old live in food insecure households, according to the Capital Area Food Bank. 'Scouting for Food' wants to make a dent in these statistics - and they are.
"Even though we live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, there are still hundreds of thousands of people who go hungry in this area. And food banks have a hard time keeping up," said Bob Owen, chair of Scouting for Food, in an interview with Great Day Washington on Thursday. "But one of the things we're trying to do is to fight hunger."
Last year, the Scouts collected what is equivalent to 37.5 million meals to over 478,000 people. The food drive is held every fall before Thanksgiving, when food demands are the greatest at local food banks.
These are the items in highest demand:
- Canned protein (tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter)
- Soups and stews (beef stew, chili, meat-based soups)
- 100% fruit juices (all sizes)
- Grains (pasta, whole grain pasta, rice, brown rice, boxed macaroni and cheese)
- Cereals (multi-grain, low sugar cereals, oatmeal)
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruits
- Hygiene products (diapers, toilet paper, tissues, soap, toothpaste)
"We cannot help those [six million] children be 'prepared. For life.' if they do not know where breakfast is coming from. Scouting for Food helps these families while teaching our Scouts the value of serving the community," said Baron.
Look out for Scouts on your doorstep on Saturday who look like this! Empty bags will be left Saturday the 4th and full bags of donated goods will be picked up on Saturday, November 11th. Please have your bag filled on your doorstep by 8AM to ensure the scouts can collect it.
Scouting for Food is co-sponsored by Capital Area Food Bank, the Safeway Foundation, WTOP, and WUSA9.