Every November, tens of thousands of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts across the country canvas their communities, putting grocery bags on doors and mailboxes the second Saturday in November with plans to return the following Saturday to retrieve bags of donated groceries.
The total collected by Hawkins County Scouts this year was almost the same as the 2018 food drive.
Church Hill Scouts have always competed against Rogersville Scouts and generally run pretty close in numbers, which held true again this year.
Rogersville edged Church Hill this year with 3,750 pounds of food against 3,389 pounds.
In Rogersville, Pack 100 collected 1,050 pounds, Pack 146 collected 250 pounds and Troop 100 collected 1,650 pounds.
In Church Hill, Troop 84 collected 2,401 pounds, Pack 84 collected 589 pounds and Pack 153 collected 399 pounds.
It takes a lot of effort for packs and troops to meet prior to the food drive and divide their communities, then bring their units together the following Saturday to collect food.
Scouts return the following week to local pantries or to Second Harvest food banks to sort food that has been collected.
“Small numbers of volunteers at most food pantries would take a full week to sort what a troop or pack can do in about two hours,” said Patricia Jackson, Pack 100 leader in Rogersville.
With Scouts and parents, Jackson had 43 people helping sort food collected in Rogersville.
In Hawkins County, food is delivered to the local food pantries that have been in operation now for 31 years, a part of Of One Accord Ministry.
In Church Hill, the food pantry is called Emergency Services, and in Rogersville it is in the Shepherd’s Center location.
For those needing food during the holiday season, both food pantries operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-1 p.m. and Rogersville is also open Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. serving residents of Hawkins County.
Sheldon Livesay, ministry director, stated, “The food pantries are deeply grateful to the Scouts for this heroic good turn in helping those in need through the holidays. The Scouts in turn are grateful to the residents of the county who responded to their plea and filled the shopping bags, leaving them for Scouts to pick up.”
Scouts expressed their gratitude to a giving community in Hawkins County. All food stays local; it is given to the local food pantry to distribute to those in need.