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Can Scouting For Food Count Towards a Merit Badge Requirement?

We have a pretty big Scouting for food drive that takes a few days and in the “Citizenship in the Community” Merit Badge I’m looking at Requirement 7:

Do the following:

a. Identify three charitable organizations outside of Scouting that interest you and bring people in your community together to work for the good of your community.

b. Pick ONE of the organizations you chose for requirement 7a. Using a variety of resources (including newspapers, fliers and other literature, the Internet, volunteers, and employees of the organization), find out more about this organization.

c. With your counselor’s and your parent’s approval, contact the organization you chose for requirement 7b, and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.

What I am asking is if one of the three organizations can be the one we collect scouting for food for and can the more than eight hours we spend doing that count?


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I would say “it depends”. In my district, the organizations receiving the food are not identified. Each unit is free to pick their own unit. If this is the case and the Scout identifies the organization(s) then it fulfills the requirement. In the neighboring district, the district activities committee picks the organizations. In this case, the requirement would not be fulfilled.

As with all Merit Badges, it is up to the Merit Badge Counselor to decide if the requirement(s) have been met.


@WilliamC, I don’t see a problem with the organization you are collecting food for being 1 of the 3 organizations for 7a, or the one for 7b.

For 7c, are they at the organization volunteering, or are you talking about when they are out on the road. If I were the counselor I might consider if they were a the organization site working with the organization staff.

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Thank you Ken and Ed for that input. Far better than my short read so I will delete my post.

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We are gathering food for a church run food bank downtown. We do the passing out of the grocery bags and come back another day and deliver the food back to the facility and unload and stock the shelves. We’ve been doing in the 7000-9000 lb range for the last several years and it’s a full day.

I’m actually the MB Counselor and while I realize it’s ultimately my call I was looking for feedback. I’m obviously leaning towards allowing it but the advice is good here.

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