02/01/12 — Scout food drive Saturday to help Salvation Army

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Scout food drive Saturday to help Salvation Army

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on February 1, 2012 1:46 PM

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Carlie C's manager Phil Timmons, left, helps Cub Scout Xavier Freeman and Boy Scouts Adam Harper and Evan Potter bag groceries Thursday for food drive.

Hundreds of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will crisscross Wayne County over the next two Saturdays, collecting non-perishable food items in an effort to fill depleted shelves at local kitchens that serve the needy.

The drive is being co-sponsored by Carlie C's grocery store on Wayne Memorial Avenue and The News-Argus.

All food items collected in Wayne County will go to the Wayne County branch of the Salvation Army.

Similar campaigns will be carried out in the other counties in the Tuscarora Council -- Duplin, Johnston and Sampson.

The drive has been held nationwide, in hundreds of councils across the United States, since it was first conceived in the early 1990s. But the Tuscarora Council has held its own drive until this year.

On Saturday morning, Feb. 4, Scouts from dozens of troops and packs will place plastic bags on doors in neighborhoods from Mount Olive to Fremont. The next Saturday, the Scouts will return to collect the bags.

The goal is to collect 25 tons of canned goods and other items, said Council Executive Tim Harper. The idea, he said, is simple. Just what would 25 tons of food look like? Supporters said they expect to find out Feb. 11.

Scout groups will be able to drop off their collections at a tractor-trailer truck that will be parked at Berkeley Mall from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Residents who don't receive a bag can still help out. Donations from them will be gladly accepted at the truck site.

Many troops and packs in Wayne are sponsored by churches. Harper said a lot of the churches have enthusiastically joined with troops and packs in the campaign.

The campaign not only addresses a community need, it gives Scouts a chance to put into practice the basic Scout motto, "Do a good deed every day," he said. Thanksgiving and Christmas drain local food pantries, Harper said, making February a good month to hold such a drive. February also happens to be National Scouting Month and the timing is appropriate, he added, to take on a unifying project.

"A lot of organizations hold food drives during the holidays," Harper said as he watched a handful of Scouts begin the drive with a mini shopping spree at Carlie C's on Tuesday evening. "But by the time the holidays are over their shelves are empty. We're going to help fill them up again."

Store Manager Phil Timmons also looked on as the Scouts walked the aisles, all of a sudden finicky over exactly what type of beans to select.

"We're just glad to help do what we can for the community," Timmons said. "We're just glad to try to do our part."