ENON — Enon Boy Scout Troop 17 is fulfilling a scout’s promise to help other people at all times Saturday, Nov. 7 by spearheading a fall food drive for Enon Emergency Relief (EER).
Members of Boy Scout Troop 61, Cub Scout Pack 36, Venture Crew 444, Cub Scout Pack 61, American Heritage Girls 3677, Girl Scout Troop 30089, Buckeye Country 4H Club, and Girl Scout Troop 34160 will be joining forces with Troop 17 and will be collecting non-perishable canned and boxed foods, paper goods and personal care items from residents living in the Greenon Local School District.
Scouts are passing out grocery bags this week along with flyers that include instructions to residents who wish to participate in the fall food drive. Organizers are asking residents who did not receive any bags or flyers, but want to contribute to the local food pantry, to bag all items, labeled them as donations for Enon Emergency Relief, and place the bags in a visible location on the porch, steps or near the roadside by 9 a.m. Saturday. However, foods in glass containers are not recommended.
“It may be confusing for some residents who receive the bags because the scouts are recycling bags from their ‘Scouting for Food’ drive in March, but the flyer does explain that the food drive is actually scheduled for Nov. 7,” EER Nutritionist Charlot Wade said.
According to Wade, all food and other personal and household items collected during the annual food drive will stock the shelves of Enon Emergency Relief which serves needy families in the Greenon Local School District. Wade said the local scout troop has had a longstanding commitment to community service, and by partnering up with other scout troops and youth organizations they can canvas a larger area of the school district and collect more food for those who are less fortunate.
“I am amazed that so many scout troops and other local organizations are participating in the food drive on Saturday,” Wade said. “It is quite a show when the parents drive up and the scouts and other young people unload all the donations before us. It’s a wonderful site to see.”
EER President Gerald Bennett said the three annual food drives and regular donations from local businesses and residents have kept EER operating for the last 50 years. Last year, EER received a total of 9,500 pounds of food items from the community.
“We received 7,000 pounds from the three food drives that included the fall food drive, the ‘Scouting for Food’ drive in March, and the National Association of Letter Carriers’ ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ food drive in May,” Bennett said. “Local businesses, churches and residents contributed around 2,500 pounds to the pantry.”
Bennett said EER is currently supplying food and other items to approximately 100 individuals, which consist of 24 clients and their families.
“When EER serves that many people each week, the shelves become empty pretty fast,” Bennett said.
Residents are urged to call 937-405-8014 for assistance if any donations are not collected by noon Saturday.
The EER is a not-for-profit organization and is staffed entirely by non-paid volunteers. The pantry, which is located at 105 N. Scott St., provides one-stop service for emergency relief and referrals to residents of the Greenon School District. EER also runs USDA commodity distributions each month for recipients over 60 years of age and coordinates the Christmas Adopt-A-Family Program, which is already underway.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.