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Scouting for Food

Scouting for Food is the largest one-day food drive in the Boy Scouts of America. Started in 1985 in the St. Louis area, Scouting for Food has expanded to other councils across the country. Did you know more than 43 million items have been collected since 1985?

Bag Distribution Day - November 10, 2012
Bag Collection Day - November 17, 2012
For most districts, the unit's collection bags and Unit Leader Kit are distributed at October Roundtables. The district's Scouting for Food participation chairman provides the territory information you will be asked to cover.
What items are most needed in our community? See what a "perfect bag" might look like.
This is how it usually works:
  • Bags are distributed to homes with instructions on pick-up date - usually the next weekend.
  • Full bags are collected.
  • Bags are delivered to food bank.
General Guidelines:
  • Identify source of bags - a local supermarket possibly
  • Drive date, a Saturday - fall or spring when many food shelves are low
  • # of scouts to participate and how many adults will be available to drive when picking up food
  • # of homes to cover in buddy teams - in single home neighborhoods, about 175-200 houses can be handled in 2 hours
  • # of bags needed
  • mark out area on map your unit will cover
  • Divide the area into smaller sections for teams to choose
  • Make maps and sign-up sheet available at unit meetings prior to event
  • Create instructions to include with distributed bags
  • Distribute bags and instructions to scouts before event - scouts should staple instructions to bags
Smooth running tips:
  • patrol/den leaders call scouts the night before to remind of distribution and collection.
  • Assemble at 8:45 all scouts/adults to receive final instructions before distributing and collecting bags.
  • All scouts wear uniforms when distributing and collecting bags
  • Scouts stay in buddy teams
  • Begin distribution and collection after 9:00am, not earlier
  • Hang the bags on front door - do not knock, but if the resident is outside or greets you, explain the program
  • Before the collection date, post reminder signs at entrances to main neighborhoods and at key intersections.
  • It takes more time to distribute bags than to collect bags, so one collection team can cover two distribution team areas.
  • Only collect visible bags - do not knock or ask for bags.
  • Have a couple of 'Clean Up' teams to cover the entire area after the collection teams have completed. These Clean Up teams drive the area looking for any missed bags and signs to ensure complete coverage.

Whether on a distribution team, collection team, or clean up team, each time commitment will be about 2 hours. This is a great excuse to get out and hike a couple miles while performing service to the local community. Your scouts will be amazed at how much food they will collect if this is a new event for your unit. It is a tangible example of the generousity of people in your town.