CAZENOVIA — In advance of the holiday season, Cazenovia’s Scouts BSA Troop 18 is serving the community through its annual Scouting for Food project.
On Oct. 28, the Scouts left plastic and paper bags at local homes, encouraging residents to fill the bags with non-perishable food items. The bags were picked up a week later, sorted, and donated to CazCares food pantry and clothing closet and The Mustard Seed in Georgetown.
“Food banks across Central New York are reporting record demands for food assistance, and our Scouts are answering the call,” said Ramona Persaud, a member of the Troop 18 Scouting for Food Committee.
The troop collected 2,381 food items, including canned fruit, vegetables, and meats, as well as pasta, baby food, and peanut butter. According to Persaud, about 10 percent went to the Mustard Seed; the bulk went to CazCares.
Scouting for Food is an ongoing annual program of the BSA that was started in 1985 by the Greater Saint Louis Area Council and is organized at the local level.
Troop 18 has been organizing the project for over two decades.
“It engages Scouts to implement the Scout slogan of ‘Do a good turn daily,’” said Persaud. “Through the Scout Oath, Scouts commit to ‘help people at all times.’ Scouting for Food is one way the Scouts of Troop 18 fulfill that commitment and help their community. More importantly, it helps our youth develop an understanding of the needs of others. The Scouts experience the generosity of others and the impact of teamwork for the benefit of our community.”
Troop 18 is a linked troop that includes both boys and girls. The troop, which is led by scoutmasters Colleen Combs and Donald Arnold, currently has 16 boys and 12 girls ages 11-17. The Scouts meet on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lewis Loyster Memorial Lodge, 8 Riverside Dr., Cazenovia.
“Our troop camps year-round, and yes, even in the winter,” said Persaud.
For more information on Scouts and Scouting, visit beascout.scouting.org.