Boy Scout Troop donates ton of food to pantry

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The Boy Scouts of America Troop 31 will be collecting donations on Saturday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. [COURTESY OF JANET SCHNEIDER]

SPRING LAKE — Local Boy Scouts of America Troop 31 has just donated over one ton of food items to a local food bank and is seeking donations this weekend for hopefully another ton of food to help those in need this holiday season.

Each holiday season, the troop will support a local food drive to help give support to its neighbors, and with this year’s pandemic causing financial hardships for many maximizing this year’s donations was important. This year, the troop chose to support The Center in Asbury Park.

“This year’s approach was a little different given the pandemic and the impact it has on so many people,” Dan Henry, BSA Troop 31 Food Drive Chairman, told The Coast Star.  “Charitable organizations’ supplies are down and their demand has gone up.  One such group is The Center in Asbury Park.  They provide amazing services and we wanted to really make a difference during the Thanksgiving season.” 

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Last Saturday, Nov. 14, BSA Troop 31 held a food drive at Spring Lake Goodwill Fire Co. No. 2, the troops’ chartering organization. In total it received over one ton [2,000 pounds] of food goods, a major feat in creating the “food avalanche” they had set out for.

“We are proud to have hit the one ton mark and the goal among our troop was to create a ‘food avalanche’ for The Center,” Mr. Henry said. “This avalanche has been made possible by a great community response, the support of Goodwill Fire Company  No. 2 as well as some very dedicated Scouts.”

The work and outreach of these scouts, he said, is what has made the drive so successful.

“Our Scouts took the opportunity of the food drive to work on community service hours by helping with communications, logistics and outreach to hundreds of families in our local community and beyond.  Each Scout calculated the weight of the food that he collected, and many collected well over 100 pounds each.”

Mr. Henry said that the best part so far of the drive has been seeing the Boy Scouts’ pride in helping others, and thanked the local community for their support. 

“This has been one of my favorite parts of the food drive: to hear the pride of the Scouts when they share the weight of what they collected, the great feedback that they have received from family and friends and their comments that they knew they were working on a very special community service project, has been amazing and frankly inspiring.”

The Scouts will once again be in front of the Goodwill Fire Co. No. 2 at 311 Washington Ave. from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Nov. 21.

Items they are collecting include: 

  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Boxed pasta
  • Boxed rice
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Canned tuna or chicken
  • Canned soups
  • Boxed macaroni and cheese
  • Cereal or instant oatmeal
  • Non-perishable milk
  • Puddings/jellos 
  • Coffee/tea

“In addition to the food collected, we hope that our effort can create further awareness of the needs of The Center and many other organizations in our community that are in need,” Mr. Henry said.

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