ROGERSVILLE — The 25th annual “Scouting for Food” food drive was held last weekend as tens of thousands of Cub scouts and Boy scouts canvased their communities the second Saturday of November putting grocery plastic bags on doors and mailboxes in hopes they will return the following Saturday to bags of donated groceries.
In Hawkins County, scouts collected 7,139 pounds of food, just a few pounds difference than the 2018 food drive. Church Hill scouts have always competed against Rogersville scouts and generally run pretty close in numbers which held true this year also. Rogersville edged in just ahead of Church Hill this year with 3,750 pounds of food against 3,389 pounds of food.
In Rogersville, Pack 100 collected 1,050 pounds, Pack 146 collected 250 pounds and Troop 100 collected 1,650 pounds of food.
In Church Hill, Troop 84 collected 2,401 pounds, Pack 84 collected 589 pounds and Pack 153 collected 399 pounds of food.
It takes a lot of effort for Packs and Troops to meet prior to the food drive and divide their communities, then bring their scouting units together the following Saturday to collect food.
In most areas of the Sequoyah Council, which gives oversite to 13 counties activities, scouts return the following week to local pantries or to Second Harvest food banks to sort food that has been collected.
“Small numbers of volunteers at most food pantries would take a full week to sort what a Troop or Pack can do in about two hours,” said Patricia Jackson, Pack 100 leader in Rogersville.
With scouts and parents, Jackson had 43 people helping sort food collected and turn in to Rogersville.
In Hawkins County, food is delivered to local food pantries which have been in operation now for 31 years, a part of Of One Accord Ministry. In Church Hill, the food pantry is called Emergency Services and in Rogersville, it is in the Shepherd’s Center location.
For those needing food during the holiday season, both food pantries operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. -1 p.m., and Rogersville is also open Tuesday nights from 6-8 p.m. serving residents of Hawkins County.
Sheldon Livesay, ministry director, stated, “the food pantries are deeply grateful to the scouts for this heroic ‘good turn’ in helping those in need through the holidays. The scouts in turn are grateful to the residents of the county who responded to their plea and filled the shopping bags, leaving them for scouts to pick up.”