Jerry Messick, co-director of the Community Interfaith Food Pantry in Belleville, spent Saturday overseeing a small army of volunteers sorting through bags of donations from the annual Scouting for Food drive.
“The Scouts do a tremendous job,” Messick said. “They put in a lot of hard. We really appreciate it because they’re one of our major supporters. It would be hard for us to survive without the Scouts and their efforts.”
It would be hard for us to survive without the Scouts and their efforts.
Jerry Messick, co-director of the Community Interfaith Food Pantry in Belleville
The Scouts and their parents went door to door on Saturday to pickup up the food residents left on their front porches. On the previous Saturday, the Scouts distributed blue plastic bags for the residents to fill.
After picking up the bags, the Scouts took the donations to area food pantries.
Messick said the pantry at 1218 W. Main St. has about 600 clients who receive food.
Ray Schneider, custodian at Trinity United Church of Christ at 47 Douglas Ave. in Belleville, said Scouts brought in 293 bags of food for the church’s food pantry.
He praised the Scouts and their parents for being “very good workers” in the rain and light snow that fell Saturday morning.
According to a preliminary tally, Scouts in the Lewis & Clark Council collected nearly 413,000 items of food on Saturday. The council covers 15 counties, including Madison and St. Clair.
Mike Eschbach, the district director and staff adviser for Scouting for Food, said the food will go to 91 pantries in the region. He added that over 3,700 Scout participated along with over 3,400 adults. Also, the Scouts collected $586 in donations for the pantries.
“It was a good day,” Eschbach said.