FAIRBORN — Members of the Tecumseh Council of the Boy Scouts of America are hoping for good weather and bags full of food today.
The council, which serves Greene, Champaign, Clark, Logan and Clinton counties, is in the midst its annual Scouting for Food drive and more than 3,000 scouts and parents be going door-to-door to collect donations. The food will be distributed to various food banks including Xenia and Fairborn FISH and the Wright State University food pantry.
Last year scouts collected 92,144 pounds of food and benefitted 28 pantries. The goal this year is 100,000 pounds.
“All of our scouts and leaders and parents come together,” said Jim Nolan, excutive director of the Tecumseh Council. “This is the time of the year when food pantries are at the lowest point.”
The Wright State pantry, located in 134 Allyn Hall on Campus is one such facility that always needs food.
“More often than not we get students who are in need,” said Felix Torres, the pantry’s coordinator, adding that many of the pantry’s users are students with dependents.
“Wright State is meeting those needs,” he said. The pantry averages 25-30 visits per month. It’s open to any WSU student and there is no requirement to verify need.
The Council previously used leaflets to spread the word that donations were being accepted. Residents would then put food in bags and place them on their porch to be collected. In 2011 the Council switched from the flyers to actual plastic bags and it made an immediate difference.
The year before the switch to bags was made, 68,986 pounds of food were collected. The first year using bags, scouts collected 82,368 pounds and the number has steadily risen each year.
“I’m really happy to help the Greene County families have food,” said 11-year-old Ryan Repasy, a member of Troop 56.
To help offset the cost of the recyclable bags, which were originally distributed on March 8, Dayton Power & Light stepped in as a corporate sponsor.