OREM, Utah –
Hundreds of Utah National Guardsmen, Boy Scouts and community leaders participated in the annual Scouting for Food, March 16.
Truckloads of food were collected by local Scouts of Boy Scouts of America (Scouts BSA), who were assisted by civilian and military volunteers. The Soldiers and Airmen of the Utah National Guard then hauled the food to collection points located in several counties across the state.
“The programs of Community Action Services and Food Bank (in Orem) are designed to help the local community and lift people up,” said Dave Smith, the Orem site manager.
Guardsmen and civilians took up the call to serve in several areas, including gathering donations into the sorting bins, loading the bins onto the trucks, and hauling the goods to local warehouses.
In Salt Lake County, Lt. Col. David Cerchio, UTNG officer-in-charge at the Utah Food Bank, kept his team busy by helping employees unload the incoming trucks and organize the food throughout the warehouse. The hectic atmosphere required a lot of coordination, with forklift operators busy unloading pallets and rushing to the get the next load.
Brenda Cockerham, Warehouse Manager at the Utah Food Bank, said that the annual drive brings many different varieties of food, which isn’t always the case with other donations. This variety allows them to meet the specific needs of food banks around the state. By meeting those needs, it allows the food banks to broaden their reach. There are many families in Utah that live below the poverty line and have relied on these generous donations throughout the years. The collective efforts of the Scouts BSA and the UTNG has helped increase the number of people Utah food banks are able to assist every year.