Inside ECHO, the food on Scouts for Food Drive day are piling up.
Photo by Mike Salmon.
The trucks kept pulling up Saturday morning, Nov. 11 and the scouts were
unloading as fast as they could, filling the bins at Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO) in Springfield. The donuts arrived, and there was finally a way to replenish the scouts’ energy.
“Fifty seven pounds, we have a winner,” said one of the parents, after weighing his bag at the door. The scales were manned by Gabriel Cooper, 13, and Zahai Khia, 17, both of troop 1853 who were participating in the event. The typical bag weighed 36 pounds so the 57 pounder was a big one. Empty bags were hung on doors of houses throughout Springfield earlier in November and Saturday, Nov. 11 was the pick up day.
“We really depend on this food drive,” said Lucinda Marvin, the co-chair of the food room at ECHO. She’s a volunteer, as are the rest of the staff there. “People just love ECHO and they know that we are 100 percent volunteer,” she added.
According to their pamphlet, “through donations, ECHO is able to assist people
who suffer the effects of long-term poverty as well as people who are experiencing an emergency need.”
Steve Richardson is a scout leader and volunteer at ECHO and noted that they usually take in 22-25,000 pounds of food during this event every year. Though there were a lot of natural disasters rocking the country in the last few months where the contributions were going – i.e. the fires in California, the hurricane that hit Houston or the next hurricane devastating Puerto Rico – people in this area of Fairfax County are still contributing. “We haven’t noticed that the donations are down,” Richardson said.
SCOUTING FOR FOOD is an annual food collection orchestrated by Scouts from National Capital Area Council. Local Scouts distribute plastic bags to homes across the region and return to pick up the bags, now filled with food, one week later. Collected food is distributed to needy families throughout the communities of the Council, according to the BSA National Capital Area Council.
By leaving empty bags at the door, there are good results from year to year, said Aaron Chusid, of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. “Because it's our Scouts doing the good turn, people reliably come out to support the effort,” Chusid said in an email. The National Capital Area Council covers 17 counties and the District of Columbia, so Chusid expects it will be over a million pounds of food collected, which will be a plus to local
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“We also distribute lists of their most-requested items to help alleviate potential shortages,” Chusid added.
The Scouting for Food day was a success at ECHO this year. At the end of the weekend, they had collected 25,842 pounds of food, which was 2,500 more than the same collection last year.