By Leonard COUTIN
On Saturday, Scouts of all levels took part in the annual Scouting for Food event. Troops began in the early morning to collect bags that were dropped empty at homes around the area the week prior. Their hope was the bags would be left curbside and full, ready for pick up.
What the boys found was that Crescenta Valley residents are very generous.
Boy Scout Troop 288 boasts a long tradition of helping those in need, especially during the holiday season, with food collection. The Troop has been participants in Scouting for Food for about 20 years. Troop 288 collected about 2,500 pounds of food that was distributed to Sue’s Garden in La Crescenta. The boys collected an equal amount that will be distributed to the Sunland-Tujunga Temporary Aid Center. The donations will be separated and given to families in need around the foothills area.
Cub Scout Pack 304 of Fremont Elementary did their part for the Scouting for Food collection as well.
The Pack, which estimates that they’ve been active with the program for more than 30 years, came up with a unique idea to recycle lawn campaign signs and re-cover them with a Scouting for Food theme, drawing attention to the event. The Cub Scouts decorated the signs with personal images that could be easily read from community streets. Dan Kilgore, Cub Master for Pack 304, chose the Sparr Heights and the Montecito Park areas to distribute empty bags. On Saturday, Cub Scouts, parents and Troop leaders collected 294 bags of food.
All of the filled bags were brought to the American Legion Hall for further sorting and distribution.
“Based on the feedback from the American Legion Hall, no other Pack/Troop came close to our numbers,” said Kilgore who was pleased with his Troop’s efforts.
In 2010, the Pack brought in 3,000 pounds of food and in 2009 they collected 168 bags to help the program.
Even those who didn’t receive an empty bag stopped by the American Legion Hall.
“One person didn’t have a Scouting for Food bag, but he dropped off [several] bags of food anyway,” said Scout Master Andy Turner.
Mary O’KEEFE contributed to this story