CENTRAL — Every year, Boy Scouts across the country take part in Scouting for Food — a national food drive conducted by their local councils.
This year, Troop 134 decided to take their drive one step further by donating all their collections to Feed a Hungry Child.
“They brought in 13,004 food items and I was just astounded,” said Rebecca Warlick, executive director for Feed a Hungry Child Pickens County. “If you even value the food at just $1 per item, that’s like a $13,000 donation.”
Warlick said the amount donated was enough to sustain the program for an entire year.
“They stood outside of the Walmart in Central with empty shopping carts asking for food donations and the first day they had two carts full. The second day they had even more,” said Warlick. “They also had collection boxes at Ingles and collected during the Father Daughter dance at Clemson Elementary.”
Feed a Hungry Child runs what Warlick referred to as a “back pack” program throughout all the schools in the county.
“What teachers were seeing was students coming in on Monday mornings complaining about stomach aches, having behavioral issues or just being really tired and it was because they weren’t eating over the weekend,” she said. “Kids eat at school — breakfast and lunch — but they go home and they may not eat again until the next day. We supplement that.”
With the back pack program, kids are sent home on Friday with enough food to hold them over until they get back to school.
“We service them all, K4 through 12. It’s a confidential system, I mean, we don’t have these kids’ names or anything, we work with the principals and the councilors at the schools and they tell us how many, what grade they’re in, stuff like that,” Warlick said. “They (the kids or parents) just have to sign up through their school.”
The program, which began in 2010 and started off with just 10 kids has since ballooned with the county’s growing needs.
“We have 635 kids now,” said Warlick. “and we drop off the packs on a monthly basis.”
Warlick said she couldn’t have been happier with the donations collected by the scouts.
“It was really amazing, they are truly making a difference,” she said.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.