‘Scouting for Food’ takes innovative approach amid pandemic

Community

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Scouts of the Narragansett Council have been helping feed their neighbors in need during the holiday season through their annual event “Scouting for Food” since 1988, but this year they had to find a creative way to pull it off during a pandemic.

In those 32 years, the scouts have collected nearly 10 million pounds of food for Southern Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, according to coordinator Mike Millen.

Normally, the scouts leave out tags on residents’ doors, then come back to pick up the nonperishable food items that they’ve left out.

WPRI 12 is a proud sponsor of the event, and the 12 News team volunteers annually to sort the items at the Rhode Island Food Bank. But the pandemic has changed the way the food is collected and sorted this year, at a time when the need is greater than ever.

“The year, there’s a 50% more need for assistance, so Narragansett council set up a website, scoutingforfood.org, where people can go to that website and give directly to RI Food Bank, Boston Food Bank and the Greater New Bedford Food Bank,” Millen said.

The website allows you to select a food pantry, then click on the actual food item that you would like to donate. It also has a list of local pantries that are still accepting donations in person.

In three communities, such as Narragansett, they have been and will continue to hang tags on doors.

“Wearing masks, making sure as much as they can that people go with their own parents or own families, so there’s no unneeded contact,” Alex Gould, an Eagle Scout candidate, said.

The food drive runs through Nov. 14.

If you are in need of food assistance you can find information on their website, scoutingforfood.org.

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