'Scouting for Food' Teaches the Meaning of a Good Turn

Thanks to the generosity of the Charlotte community and thousands of Mecklenburg County Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, siblings and their parents, the 2015 Scouting for Food collection netted 260,004 pounds of food for Loaves & Fishes. So, if you were the person on the fence about adding a 4 pound bag of sugar to your donation, THANK YOU for going for it!

That’s 19,156 pounds over what the Scouts collected in 2014. These little troopers once again braved the elements to go door-to-door dropping off empty bags and then returning to collect the bags a week later. Harris Teeter also hosted collection barrels at their stores throughout aCounty.

Loaves & Fishes provides a week’s supply of nutritious groceries at no cost to individuals and families who are experiencing a crisis through a network of 20 local food pantries. According to the organization, this massive effort will help to keep the pantries stocked through the spring. Get your head around this fun fact: over the last six years, Scouting for Food has collected 1.3 million pounds of food for Loaves & Fishes.

This is the fifth year that our son has participated – every year since he was a little first grade Tiger Scout through his current fifth grade Webelo II. This year, his little brother and future Scout was able to get in on the action. While Loaves & Fishes is grateful for the effort, I’m grateful that our sons have the opportunity to see what it means to do a “good turn” in a big way.

Once in the groove of collecting and sorting, the boys naturally step up. The littlest ones struggle with the heavy items, but so want to impress the older cool kids. Parents are in full swing as well, leading by example.

Of course, boys like to trash talk and boys like to brag and boys like to WIN. Cold? “No way, man. I can wear shorts in this weather.” Heavy? “Nah. I bet I can lift it.” When our son’s Cubmaster announced last week to a room full of Scouts that they didn’t just beat last year’s food collection, they annihilated it, the room erupted. Oh, the glory!

So, my little worker bees, brag to your buddies. You’ve earned the right. Tell your friends that you faced the cold and ice and collected food for people who were hungry, because you are young and strong and healthy and are fortunate enough to have a full pantry at home. And tell them next year, you’re going to get even more.

Rebecca Novak Tibbitt, MPH, is a Charlotte-based writer, public relations professional and mother of three school aged children.