Scouting for food 2

The Scouting For Food drive is shown here in a file photo from 2019.

BLACKFOOT — The Community Food Banks in our area depend on a successful annual community food drive that has been historically done by the Grand Teton Council of the BSA.

Because of changes in relationships with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Grand Teton Council no longer has the manpower to successfully conduct the campaign alone. In 2020 we are partnering with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other individuals and groups in the Blackfoot/Shelley area to do the 2020 October Food Drive through an umbrella organization named JustServe.org.

We are hoping that the entire Blackfoot/Snake River/Firth/Shelley area will be involved in this campaign through a door-to-door food collection campaign on Saturday, Oct. 24. This is being coordinated by Richard and Madge Lindsay, JustServe.org coordinators in Blackfoot working with Ray Matsuura, communications coordinator in Blackfoot.

Each LDS stake unit in the area is encouraged to have volunteers in each of their ward areas organize and work together to conduct a door-to-door campaign to all individuals and families living in their boundaries regardless of religious affiliation. They are to bring the collected items to the local community food pantries in Blackfoot and Shelley.

Our local Scout troops will be at local grocery stores (Ridley’s and Kesler’s in Blackfoot and Broulim’s in Shelley) on the morning of Oct. 24 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. supervising collecting stations for individuals and shoppers at the stores. The local food pantries in Blackfoot and Shelley will be open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to receive collections from the door-door campaign and the grocery store collection sites. Our local scouts will also help with the collection of items at the food pantry.

Information requested at drop off includes the number of items collected, the number of individual volunteers who helped in the collection, and the total or average number of hours worked by the volunteers so that service hours can be compiled.

The area presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent a letter to their stake units encouraging full participation by units for a successful community campaign. This is one of those moments when all individuals regardless of religion can participate together for the benefit of all the needy in our area. We are relying on all the church ward units to participate because each has a manageable area for the door-to-door campaigns and no other community group has geographic boundaries that are so manageable as we have traditionally successfully done in past campaigns.

Media advertising the week of the campaign will be notifying the community of this effort and providing details on collection and drop-off points. Some of the advertising will be funded by the Melaleuca Foundation. I am grateful for all the cooperation and support we are getting throughout the community and look forward to a successful campaign on Oct. 24.