60,000 meals collected during ‘Scouting for Food’ drive
Girl and Boy Scouts from across Orange County took to the streets and stores on Saturday, collecting more than 70,000 items for the holiday season.
The tons of boxed macaroni and cheese, and chili and canned beans will be donated to and distributed by the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. The official count for cans collected is not yet available, as some food is still coming in, said Barbara Wartman, spokesperson for Second Harvest Food Bank. But Saturday’s haul totaled 74,854 pounds of food, the equivalent of 62,378 meals, according to Wartman.
The “Scouting for Food” campaign, which started on Nov. 4, included a six-hour “land rush” campaign on Saturday. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the campaign, during which more than 4.2 million meals have been collected for the hungry in Orange County, according to Second Harvest Food Bank.
Scouts combed through neighborhoods and knocked on doors for canned goods, and collection bins were also available at 41 participating Stater Brothers and Smart & Final stores across the county.
“There’s always a can (you) haven’t used in six months,” said Mark Senesac, Scouting for Food commissioner for the Boy Scouts canyons district, which includes Tustin, Orange and Anaheim. “And if everybody gave a can of tuna or something that’s been sitting there, there wouldn’t be such a thing as hunger.”
The district’s collection site was a tractor trailer parked at a Tustin church, which netted 6,335 pounds of goods, said Rachel Cueva, activities director for the Orange County Council of Boy Scouts of America.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Puckett, along with Councilmember John Nielsen, awarded the Scouts and Second Harvest Food Bank with a proclamation at the Stater Brothers store on Red Hill Avenue.
“We just appreciate … what they’re doing to help the homeless and help erase hunger in Orange County,” Puckett said. “Even though we’re an affluent county, we still have a problem.”
Residents can continue donating at certain Stater Brothers and Smart & Final stores, or at the Orange County Council’s office, through Wednesday, Cueva said. The office is at 1211 E. Dyer Road in Santa Ana.
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By the numbers
Pounds of food collected on Saturday by Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, by preliminary numbers
The equivalent in number of meals, collected on Saturday
Pounds of food collected during last year’s drive
Participating Stater Brothers and Smart & Final stores in Orange County
Years of the Scouting for Food drive in Orange County
Information: Second Harvest Food Bank, 949-653-2900
Source: Orange County Council of Boy Scouts of America