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Scouting for Food Impact

Hi everyone - Today is Scouting for Food. I’m curious if there are any calculators or figures out there to demonstrate the true impact this initiative has? i.e. every pound of food serves x amount of people, or every dollar donated impacts x amount of people.

Is there any collateral out there around this? I think it could be more impactful in delivering the program.

I’m sure the food bank where it’s donated has those statistics.

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I think it’s really hard to reduce to an equation. Our troop collected about 4,500 items last November and delivered them to the pantry at a local church. They hold a monthly dinner where they also hand out shopping bags of food, and expected that our donation would last through the winter. It all depends on who shows up in need and how deep that need is.
They do have some metrics on their web site though:

  • Average 110 meals served per night
  • Total in 8 full years = nearly 14,000 meals served
  • Average volunteers needed nightly 55
  • Estimated total volunteers in 8 years = 6,450

From that, you can extrapolate - 4,500 items covers 110 meals x 4 months (440 meals), or about 10 items used or given away (mostly the latter) per meal delivered.

Of course, your mileage may vary. :smile:

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Interesting, and yeah I understand there is no perfect science to it but I’m sure there are measurements that have been created. This was our first year participating, and to be honest we were late to the party. Rather than doing the traditional canvassing of a neighborhood with flyers + bag. Plus pick up the following weekend, we instead set up shop outside of the local grocery store.
What I discovered were people were much more willing to donate a monetary sum than go drop off an item or items on their exit.
Many hands make small work. After seeing the success that units in surrounding suburbs were able to have with door to door I have a better idea of how to proceed next year.

As a side note. Since weight is how it appears we calculate this in Scouts, next year I will be sure that if anyone is leaving dried foods that I knock on their door and instead demand canned goods.

Yeah, that’s a pretty key metric for foot pantries. I’m sure they can tell you how much benefit was gained from a Troop’s work.

Our main food drive is a math equation converting even money to lbs

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“Our Scout Oath calls on our young people to “help other people at all times,” and Scouting for Food demonstrates to the nation how our movement can make a difference in their communities.“ (https://scoutingwire.org/scouting-for-foods-legacy-of…/)

“the battles are far from over, … “ (Boys’ Life, December 1989)

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What we did last year instead of going door to door we set up at a grocery store, we seemed to get just as many donations as going door to door, we elimated missing a house or street, a lot safer all the scouts were in one location. I am going to suggest we do it this year.

This is how troops in our council run SFF. The council partners with a local grocery chain.

On the other hand, Cub Scout packs go door to door one weekend, distributing flyers and bags (bags provided by above mentioned grocery) and the next weekend collect.

The troops assist packs with sorting, boxing, weighing, and distributing to local food banks.

We ended up heavy with cash donations sitting out front of the local grocer (which is great, cash is king, right?) but didn’t have a huge number of physical food that we ended up donating. A local Pack/Troop within the area was able to collect 2,500 pounds of food which is a staggeringly great number. That’s what I’d like to hit in the coming years with a little more planning.

Especially in this case. Every food bank would rather have $100 cash than $100 of food, because they can easily get twice as much food for $100 than I could.

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From marketplace.org on cash donations to food banks… good to know
“$10 might get you a couple of canned goods and boxes of pasta at the store, but food banks can make that $10 go exponentially further. Different companies, including wholesalers, supermarkets and farmers, donate their surplus to food banks for the cost of around 20 cents per pound.”

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