Doorstep donating

Local Boy Scouts host scouting for food


Graphic by Nathan Morriss

Story by Nathan Morriss, staff writer

The thought of the Christmas season approaching can bring either happiness or distress to one, depending on their situation. Although the holidays bring joy to many, others may harbor worries thinking about how to balance buying gifts and paying for basic monthly commodities, especially food. The Boy Scouts Scouting for Food program aims to help relieve this burden during the holiday season.

“Scouting for Food is a council sponsored program that recognizes that there are people in our community, children in particular, who do not get three meals a day,” said Anthony Escobar, Caddo Area Council Scout Executive. “It is especially important [to collect food] this time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas because there is an increased demand for food during this time.”

Scouting for Food is led primarily by the Boy Scouts Youth who distribute the bags across town. Each unit, or chartered group, is given a specific amount of bags that correspond with their region of distribution. It is up to the units themselves to ensure the bags are handed out to the areas assigned to them.

“The three fundamental tenets of scouting are duty to God, duty to country and service to others,” Escobar said. “As part of our service to others, our scouts from throughout the council get together and put grocery bags on doorsteps.”

If a bag does not get picked up or if you don’t receive a bag in the first place, do not worry, there are several ways one can still donate food to those in need.

— Nathan Morriss

The Scouting for Food idea originated from St. Louis, Missouri, where the first drive was organized. After gaining popularity, the Boy Scouts of America decided to promote the event as a nationwide service project.

“Our Caddo Area Council adopted it locally and we have been doing Scouting for Food for more than 10 years,” Escobar said. “(The council itself) took in 38,000 pounds last year.”

Scouting for Food collects a variety of food from all across Texarkana. There are restrictions on what can and cannot be donated, however.

“Non perishable, canned goods and dry goods [are fine]; it cannot be homemade,” Escobar said. “It cannot be in glass jars or that type of packaging. Typically, it can’t be produce or steaks or anything like that either.”

Official Scouting for Food bag pickup is Saturday, Dec. 8. At this time, the Boy Scout youth will once again go out and pick up each bag door-to-door. 

“You are welcome to deliver your food to the scout office. The Scout Service Center will package it up and get it out to Harvest [Texarkana],” Escobar said. “We’re happy to get it out to the harvesters of the local food bank. We just want the food to get into the hands of the hungry.”