Did you know an estimated 1-in-8 Americans do not have enough food to eat each day?
Help us ease the pain of hunger in our local community by supporting our Scouting for Food Drive.
Scouting for Food is a program with a rich history and tradition. In partnership with local food banks, this service project begins in January as Scouts distribute flyers in their neighborhoods. Scouts will return on the first Saturday of February to collect donations and deliver them to their local food banks and pantries. Our goal is to collect 12 pounds of food, or approximately 15 cans of food, per Scout. To achieve success, we have provided a media kit of resources to assist unit leaders and Scouts in running an efficient, easy, and successful campaign!
Scouting For Food is the leading service program for Boy Scouts of America and is a part of the national BSA program – Good Turn for America. For questions, contact: GCC.Program@scouting.org
Help us fight hunger right in our community!
It's easy for Scouts to participate. Follow these 3-steps to get started!
Step 1: Distribute Flyers
Door-to-Door Option: distribute flyers/Door Hangers close to your home. Wear your uniform and with a parent, leave a flyer on the front door of your nearest neighbors.
Digital Option: You can also post a flyer to your neighborhood’s HOA or social media groups (like Nextdoor) asking for donations.
Step 2: Collect Food
Scouts and their parents will return to each house where they left a flyer and collect any and all food donations. The traditional date is the first Saturday of February (February 4, 2023) to collect donations.
Step 3: Drop Off Food & Report Results
After collecting all donations in your neighborhood, drop off items at your local food bank or pantries. Be sure to record your service hours for a job well done! Submit your totals below:
United Food Bank
United Food Bank – 480-926-4897
358 E Javelina Ave, Mesa AZ 85210
Food drop-off times:
UFB – 358 E Javalina, Mesa, AZ
Feb. 4th from 10am-1pm
Coordinate special arrangements or drop off times with Becca at 480-322-0095!
Val Vista Academy Satellite drop off – 4120 S Val Vista Dr, Gilbert
Units may request food bins and pallets from United Food Bank to aid with sorting, organizing, and delivering your collections, or even set up a collections box at your chartered organization!
Click here for details on picking up pallets and making your delivery at the new United Food Bank location.
Click Here for the Most Wanted Items list!
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance – 602-242-3663
2831 N. 31st Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85009 Delivery Map
Sat: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Mon-Fri: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Surprise – 13050 W Elm St, Surprise, AZ 85378
Mon-Fri: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Please contact St. Mary’s Alliance to request collection boxes and crates to aid in your collections!
The Scouting for Food Donor Number is DN5717. Please make sure that all boxes that are dropped off to our warehouse have this number labeled on them. This will ensure that all Scout food gets tracked in the SFF account!
Your neighborhood food pantry
United Food Bank and St. Mary’s act as distribution centers and redistribute their donations to efficiently serve smaller food pantries across the state, as not every one of the smaller pantries are able to accept and store all food types. We recommend delivering your donations to these UFB or St Mary’s as they will be best prepared to receive large donations and redistribute.
If your pack or troop is far from these locations, you are welcomed to contact local food pantries, which you can find through the link in the red box below.
Please be sure to contact your choice food bank during your planning stages to confirm when they are available to receive donations, as some food banks and parties are not open on the weekends and may require delivery during the week days, and to confirm which food types they are and are not prepared to receive.
Scouts should be able to conduct a traditional Scouting for Food campaign with proper social distancing by taping door hangers to front doors without speaking to the homeowners. Scouts may also tape the flyer to the door, knock on the door or ring the bell, and take several steps back so that if the homeowner opens the door, the Scout can share details about the campaign and ask for support in the coming days when they return to gather donations.
Scouts should wear gloves when collecting the bags or cans left at the front door and carry hand sanitizer to mitigate risk of spread.
Our Scout Oath calls on us all “to help other people at all times.” Scouting for Food is one of the many ways that Scouts do that, it has a special place in the Scouting experiences of many. Additionally, one aim of Scouting is participatory citizenship; helping to take care of the community. When coupled with the promise “to help other people at all times,” collecting food for distribution to the needy gives units and Scouts a positive role in helping everyone in their community, not just the Scouts and their families. It also gives Scouts the satisfaction of participating in something much larger than themselves, of doing a good turn.
When asked, one Scout replied, “It feels good, because you’re helping somebody.” This act of service is a reminder of the power and importance of Scouting to our communities and also serves to demonstrate to those outside our program that Scouting is more than just outdoor adventure, according to our chief scout executive. It’s about developing character in youth so they can make a difference in the many places they call home.
The Boy Scouts identified hunger as one of five “unacceptables.” Missed or incomplete meals have their greatest impact on growing children, veterans, and the elderly. Hungry children often worry more about empty stomachs and empty refrigerators than they do finishing their homework. Food insecurity affects almost one in six Arizonans, a total of more than one million residents, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security. This is higher than the national averages. Food insecurity means they may lack access to or the ability to afford enough food to feed everyone in their household.
According to data released in 2016, more than one in four Arizona children worry about their next meal. Sometimes free school lunches are the most dependable food supply for children, a shocking fact. Food collected in metro areas is often routed to more rural areas where the need is the greatest. Apache, Navajo, and Coconino counties had child poverty rates of 41%, 38%, and 35%, respectively, according to U.S. Census Bureau information released in 2016.
Scouts can participate in one or more ways. The individual unit will decide which approach or approaches it wishes to take, but parents or responsible adults can place a collection box at work. Some units may choose to use more than one approach to collecting food, and that is probably the most effective plan:
- Units can target an area for a collection effort. They spread out through the area and go door-to-door one weekend or during regular meeting hours and leave a door flyer requesting a contribution be left out the following Saturday. The Scout or unit can repeat the process of going door-to-door the next Saturday to collect the food from the porch. The flyer may ask the donor call the individual Scout’s parent to collect the food within a short period time, such as a week or less.
- Or, individual Scouts can visit 4-5 of their immediate neighbors to collect food. If they miss the neighbor, they can leave a note asking that the neighbor call the Scout to come back and collect the food.
- Scouts can place collection boxes at their chartering organization, religious institution, or school. If permitted, they can make a short presentation on the nature of Scouting for Food and its importance in helping the needy.
- Some units combine their Scout Sunday/Sabbath/Jumuah activities with a canned food drive at services, and announce collections the prior week.
- Parents or guardians can place collection boxes at work and encourage coworkers to bring in food and put it in the boxes.
As much as you can!
A great starting goal is 12 cans of food per Scout, which works out to about 15 pounds. If each of our 10,000 registered Scouts collects 15 pounds of food we can deliver over 150,000 pound of food for the needy in Arizona. That will make an impact on hunger in Arizona, it will put Scouts in the eyes of the community, and it may even encourage some to join Scouting. We will know we have done something large and beneficial. Of course, Scouts are not limited to collecting 15 pounds of food. In fact, the more the better.
Participants should collect non-perishable food. These foods are listed on the door hanger, as well as through this link.
The best foods to collect include:
- Beans – pinto, refried
- Canned vegetables
- Canned soups, chili, stews
- Peanut Butter
- Meat and meat alternatives – canned tuna, chicken
- Rice and pasta
- Milk – canned or dried
- Cereal and oatmeal
Door flyers are available on this webpage under SFF Toolkit to your left. You may use the fillable PDF to enter your unit number, chartered organization, and a leaders contact information so that missed donations may be collected the following week. You may also use the Word document to edit the date(s) of your collection, add recruitment information, or customize the flyer as necessary.