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 need, Scouting for Food was born. The first year of collection, 1988, involved 1 million Scouts nationwide collecting 65 million cans of nonperishable food. As the National Good Turn from 1988-1991, Scouting for Food resulted in the largest collection and donation of foodstuffs ever experienced in the United States.
Years ago, Scouting leaders approached food banks to ask when help was most needed. It was discovered that March, in between the more traditional food drive times of Christmas and Easter, is when food banks are at their lowest levels.
Studies indicate that more than 17.6 million American households go hungry at some time every month; these studies also reveal that there are more hungry people in American now than at any time in the last twenty-five years.
Prolonged hunger causes more than just discomfort. Malnutrition can lead to permanent tissue damage and leaves its sufferers-particularly children and he elderly – susceptible to illness and infection.
What is the Answer?
Hunger is a problem we can do something about by working together. Scouting for Food is a starting point. It is an example of our long-standing commitment to community service. Thorough this project the BSA directly helps meet the needs of the hungry, while exposing its members, particularly youth, to the highest ideals of the Scouting movement through a practical and dramatic experience in the principle of the Good Turn.
The BSA’s role is to organize the food collection and make arrangements with established community distribution agencies that will warehouse and distribute the food to the need at no cost. The emphasis is on nonperishable food most need for nutrition, such as peanut butter, baby formula, complete packaged meals, and such canned goods as tuna, chunky soups, stews, meats, fruits and vegetables.