FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Virtual Scouting for Food Drive helps area pantries make up for canceled food drives

Coronavirus

MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) — Business at the St. Joseph Food Program has not yet returned to normal, with the organization distributing bags of food to clients curbside.

“We think the need is going to get bigger and bigger as the months progress,” Monica Clare, Executive Director said.

The pantry is working to continue operations with food donations down, according to Clare.

That’s another change brought on by the pandemic, a drop in physical donations, including the Boy Scouts’ Scouting for Food Drive.

“The food drive is really a cornerstone of our Scouting program,” Alex Behrend, Director of Development for the Boy Scouts of America Bay-Lakes Council explained.

The pandemic prevented the Scouts from carrying out their planned food drive in April, but they didn’t want to leave the pantries high and dry.

“We actually listed all of the 113 pantries and food drives that we work with on a web page and then we launched social media and email campaigns,”Behrend explained.

The idea for the Virtual Scouting for Food Drive is attributed to Neenah’s Troop 73, and the effort netted more than $60,000 for area pantries.

Money raised through the Boy Scouts lends to a trend pantries have seen as donations of food have fallen.

“Financial donations have gone the other direction, thankfully, to make up some of the difference,” Clare said.

The Scouts are still planning on a traditional food drive after the dust has settled.

“We wanted to still do our in-person food drive,” Behrend said, “and we thought what a better way to do it than in the fall when the need is already great?”

Pantries will likely be in need of those donations.

“I believe that as we move forward, we’re going to see more and more people that once they use up their own resources, they’re going to have to ask for help,” Clare said.

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