PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A very rainy and windy Saturday morning couldn’t stop thousands of local boy scouts from going door to door, collecting donations for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
“Rain or shine, he’s talking about it last night and we were looking forward to today,” John Pires said.
“I really like doing it, it’s a really good opportunity to have the scouts learn good leadership and it’s a good way to help out the community, give back,” Chris Pires said.
Despite record low unemployment rates, fifty-three thousand people still rely on the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and its member agencies every month.
“This is a critical food drive for the food bank, it’s one of our two largest drives of the year and it comes at a critical time right before the holiday season,” Rhode Island Community Food Bank Chief of Philanthropy Officer Lisa Roth Blackman said.
WPRI 12, Fox Providence and the CW Providence are proud sponsors of the annual Scouting for Food event, and some of our own employees also pitched in, sorting the food that was collected by the scouts.
In its thirty-one years, the fundraising event has brought in more than nine million pounds of food for local families.
Thanks to a new corporate partnership, this year’s @boyscouts #ScoutingForFood drive is set to break a record! Story tonight on @wpri12 😊 pic.twitter.com/tKIG4wCyh4— Julianne Lima (@JulianneLimaTV) November 3, 2018
Thanks a new corporate sponsorship with Ocean State Job Lot, this year is on track to break a record.
“They committed to match the first one hundred thousand pounds of food or fifty tons of food that scouts collect, they will match it pound for pound,” Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America CEO Tim McCandles said.
With the start of something new also comes the end of an era.
94-year-old Joe DeStefano started scouting for food three decades ago. Saturday was his last time at the forefront.
Joe DeStefano started #ScoutingForFood 31 yrs ago. He’s retiring but we’ll always remember his dedication to feed those in need. @wpri12 pic.twitter.com/McntE7QaN3— Mike Montecalvo (@mmontecalvotv) November 3, 2018
Eyewitness News Anchor Mike Montecalvo has been assisting Joe for nearly all of those years. “I remember years ago, we were talking about if we could eliminate hunger. And I always thought that would be the greatest thing we could do. We’re not there yet, but we can’t give up.”
If your bag wasn’t collected, canned goods can still be dropped off at the RI Community Food Bank in Providence.
The non-profit also accepts monetary donations and has more information on their website.