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Utah's "Scouting for Food" Could Generate Over One Million Meals

PHOTO: Boy Scouts across Utah will be collecting food Saturday in an annual effort that netted 1.6 million pounds of food last year. Photo courtesy Utah Food Bank.
PHOTO: Boy Scouts across Utah will be collecting food Saturday in an annual effort that netted 1.6 million pounds of food last year. Photo courtesy Utah Food Bank.
March 20, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY - Thousands of Boy Scouts and volunteers are collecting food Saturday in an annual event that will likely provide more than 1 million meals for people in Utah.

The Utah Food Bank operates the "Scouting for Food" event each year in partnership with more than 130 food pantries and agencies. Ginette Bott, the food bank's chief development officer, said the event is hugely important in fighting hunger in Utah.

"Last year statewide they gathered 1.6 million pounds of food," she said, "and that provided 1.3 million meals."

Bott said the Boy Scouts collect nonperishable food left in bags and boxes on doorsteps in communities around the state. "Scouting for Food" especially is helpful for food pantries in smaller rural communities whose supplies are dwindling following the holiday season, she said.

Despite an improving economy, Bott said, many clients of the Utah Food Bank are families where one or both parents are working multiple part-time, low-wage jobs and are barely getting by.

"They're just not making the amount of money that they were, so they're still struggling to make ends meet," she said, "and we're still seeing families, a lot of families, being left behind in this economic recovery."

Bott said the 29th annual "Scouting for Food" will provide many food pantries with as much as half of the food they will need for the next two or three months.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT