FAIRBORN — Fairborn citizens received plastic bags March 11 from local Boy Scouts of America troops, which are meant to be filled with food items to help fight local hunger. Local scouts will pick up the bags Saturday, March 18 to drop off to the Fairborn FISH Pantry.
Fairborn Mayor and Tecumseh Council BSA President Dan Kirkpatrick said the Scouting for Food program is held each year in March and is one of the largest annual service projects for the Boy Scouts of America. It involves Scouts “doing a good turn” for local communities.
All levels of scouting participate in the project, including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts. In Fairborn, Kirkpatrick said it has been described as one of the largest programs to help the Fairborn FISH Food Pantry program stock fill its shelves for those in need of food assistance.
FISH served 25,600 individuals last year — 50 percent of these individuals were children, 28 percent were enrolled in higher education and 18 percent were seniors, according to Fairborn FISH Pantry Food Manager Jane Doorley. The top three reasons Fairborn FISH Pantry clients cite for needing to go to a food pantry include a decrease in social security benefits, working but not making enough funds and unemployment, she added.
Last year, Doorley said the Fairborn FISH Food Pantry distributed more than 400,000 pounds of food to the food insecure of Fairborn.
Most-needed items the Fairborn FISH Food Pantry include canned goods (stew, tuna or chicken, fruit, vegetables, soups or chili, spaghetti sauce), peanut butter, cereal or Pop Tarts, pancake and muffin mixes, crackers or cookies, instant soup, rice or beans, pasta, powdered juice or milk, dried fruits and snack bars and cookies. Local officials heading the project ask that citizens refrain from donating perishable and frozen food items as well as any open and glass containers.
If bags were not provided in some neighborhoods on March 11 but citizens would still like to join the fight against local hunger, they can drop of food donations at the Fairborn FISH Pantry between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 18 at its location, 1149 N. Broad St.
“Hunger is a crisis in America,” Doorley said in an email interview. “As the food manager of FISH, I see the face of hunger every day and am very grateful for the efforts of the scouts in helping us alleviate hunger in our community.”