Marin Independent Journal: Boy Scouts pick up and deliver more than 17 tons of food to Food Bank
Reposted from the Marin Independent Journal
Written by Paul Liberatore Article originally published by the Marin Independent Journal, Nov. 16, 2013
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For the 25th year, Marin Boy Scouts fanned out across the county Saturday on their annual Scouting for Food drive, picking up more than 17 tons of food and delivering it to the Marin Food Bank in Novato.
"This is one of my favorite days of the year," said food bank site manager Marcia Custer as a steady stream of SUVs, pickup trucks and vans loaded with bags of foodstuffs drove into the food bank's Digital Drive facility. "We all look forward to it. My whole staff is here. It's a fun day."
Members of the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout honor society, unloaded the food and piled it into plastic cargo bins that were picked up by forklifts and stacked inside the food bank's warehouse for distribution to its 54 pantries throughout Marin.
"We distribute 5.5 million pounds of food throughout the county during the year, and this helps us considerably," Custer said. "The donated food offsets our costs and really saves us money. Every dollar we have donated turns into six dollars worth of food that we can use to feed the hungry."
Wearing his red and white Order of the Arrow sash, 17-year-old Daniel Geloso of Larkspur, a member of Troop 43, directed traffic and made sure the various troops got credit for their donations.
"I think this is a great way to give back to the community that other high school students don't necessarily get," he said.
Some 900 uniformed scouts, parents, some Girl Scouts and other volunteers were out Saturday, revisiting houses that had been previously notified about the drive through 70,000 hangers left on doors the previous weekend.
They picked up and delivered 34,381 pounds of food, exceeding last year's total by more than 2,000 pounds.
Since 1988, the annual Scouting for Food drive in Marin has collected more than 1 million pounds of food, according to Tim Wells, Boy Scout senior district executive.
"It's a beautiful day today, and this is a great effort," he said.
The food bank treated scouts to a hot dog lunch after they made their deliveries.
"We also got cash donations of $120 and a turkey," Custer said brightly when the drive was over and the food was weighed. "So it was a great day for us."