Sorting canned goods last year with Girl Scout Troop 3327 of Chantilly are (back row, from left) Brianna Mosely, mom Tanesha Mosely, Jeanine Blomberg and Ruth Moran, and (front row, from left) sisters Morgan and Phoebe Blomberg.
Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.
Fairfax County is one of the richest areas in the country. Yet, every night, there are people who go to bed hungry. That’s where Western Fairfax Christian Ministries’ (WFCM) food pantry comes in, providing critical food for families in need in the local area.
But WFCM can only do so much alone; it depends on the generosity of the community to help keep its pantry stocked. And local residents can lend a hand by contributing canned and boxed food items to the upcoming, Sully District Scouting for Food drive which benefits the pantry.
This weekend, Boy Scouts will be out in neighborhoods in Centreville and Chantilly, delivering empty grocery bags with a flyer asking for food donations for WFCM. The hope is that the recipients will fill up the bags with food and then place them outside their front door, Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8:30 a.m., for pick-up.
“Many individuals and families do not earn enough to meet basic, monthly expenses such as food, housing and transportation,” said Jennie Bush, WFCM’s Community Outreach Manager. “They are food-insecure, which means they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. As a result, thousands of people in our community are hungry – and almost half of them are children. And the need is growing every day.”
That’s why Bush and others associated with WFCM are hoping that as many residents as possible will help alleviate this need by participating in the largest food drive of the year for its food pantry. Centreville’s Michael Adere, who’s organized the Scouting for Food drive for 13 years, explains why the Boy Scouts take part in this annual effort.
In the Boy Scout Oath, he said, “A Scout promises to help other people at all times. By participating in the Scouting for Food drive, Scouts are able to put action to those promises.” Adere also has a big job, including arranging for the sorting site and box trucks – which transport the collected food to WFCM’s pantry – to coordinating the involvement of the various Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops.
Last year’s drive yielded some 65,000 pounds of food, and WFCM hopes to receive that much or more, this year. The Scouts will be collecting nonperishable items, such as canned soup, meats, vegetables, fruit, cereal, rice, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, pasta and sauce (no glass jars), peanut butter, jelly, dried beans and canned tomatoes.
“Without the Boy Scouts’ efforts and all the volunteers who support Scouting for Food, this food drive would not be possible,” said Bush. “It takes hundreds of people to do the huge task of gathering and sorting the food, so more than 150 youth and adult volunteers are needed to help throughout the day.”
On Nov. 10, shifts are available at the sorting site in Chantilly, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., for set up and tear down, sorting, crating and transporting the food to the pantry, as well as unloading it there. Anyone interested in helping should contact WFCM at ScoutingForFood@wfcmva.org.
“This volunteer event is ideal for individuals, small groups, families, service clubs and students needing community-service hours,” said Bush. “Thank you so much, in advance, for your help in restocking our food pantry for hungry families in the community.”