Scouting for Food

In this 2018 file photo, Scouts Theo Kislat (from left) and Wyatt Thornton join Evie McNiece of the Rome Rotary Club to sort through food collected during the Scouting for Food campaign.

It looks like the weather is planning to cooperate with the Northwest Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts’ annual Scouting for Food drive

Scouts will be out in the community collecting canned goods and nonperishable items for the Salvation Army.

People can also make drive-by donations at the Salvation Army facility on East First Avenue in Rome from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The last several years it has either rained or snowed on the collection date. This Saturday is supposed to start off subfreezing but sunny, and eventually the thermometer should rise to a high in the upper 40s.

Scouts were out in the community last weekend and early this week, distributing door hangers to let residents know that the collection is coming up.

Eric Vaughn said his Cub Scout Pack 113 distributed close to 300 door hangers in the Old East Rome community, the largest residential neighborhood in proximity to where most of his pack lives.

“This is huge for us,” said Lt. Paula Blevins with the Rome Salvation Army.

The annual Christmas Can-A-Thon, because of changes to the collection resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, did not generate nearly as much food this year as it has in the past — so Blevins said the Scouting for Food event will be more important than ever.

The Northwest Georgia Council typically collects close to 10 tons of food during the campaign. Scouts in the Coosa District — Chattooga, Floyd and Polk counties — have collected somewhere close to two tons in the three counties alone.

Leaders are hoping that better weather might up that count this Saturday.

The Salvation Army is in particular need of pasta, spaghetti, macaroni, that sort of nonperishable food, right now along with flour, sugar, dry beans, corn meal and grits.

“Of course we can always used canned meats, tuna, salmon, Vienna sausage and that sort of thing,” Blevins said.

Council Scout Executive Matt Hart said Scouting for Food used to be a national initiative but has been a locally operated campaign for the last 10 to 12 years.

Members of the Rome Rotary Club assist with the collection effort at the Salvation Army warehouse off East First Avenue. Rotary President Nancy Smith said she expects anywhere from a dozen to two dozen Rotarians to help with the collection and sorting of the food.

The Rome club was honored by the International Foundation for Scouting Rotarians in 2020 for their efforts to assist the scouts with the food drive.

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