PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Scouts from across the state were back on the streets Saturday morning, collecting food to be donated to the R.I. Food Bank.

As of four o’clock, more than 150-thousand pounds of food was collected, exceeding donations in 2019.

“This is the largest food drive of the year, and it’s because it’s across the state and every community wants to help the scouts. And we are really glad to be part of this,” Rhode Island Food Bank Chief Executive Director Andrew Schiff said.

The pandemic canceled last year’s drive making this year all that more important to helping Rhode Islanders in need.

“So we’re helping over fifty-thousand people each month and unfortunately, that number is growing right now as people face higher bills for heating and for utilies,” Schiff said. “And as energy costs go up people have to pay those bills so they have less money left to pay for food.”

On Oct. 30, Scouts could be seen in neighborhoods, leaving yellow tags on people’s doors, asking for people to leave a bag of canned or boxed food for them to pick up Saturday.

This weekend was the culmination of that effort, scouts picking up those bags and delivering and sorting donations at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in Providence.

“I think the thing that the scouts get from this is they something that’s very tangible that they can do to help people. That they know that they made a difference in helping people that will benefit,” Tim McCandless, Scout Executive & CEO of the Narragansett Council said.

Since 1988 the Scouts of the Narragansett Council have collected nearly 10 million pounds of food.

If you’d like to otherwise help, cash donations are being accepted as well.

12 News is a proud sponsor of the Scouting for Food Drive event.