Did you realize that one of every three people served by food banks are children? In Berks and Schuylkill counties, over 100,000 people qualify for food assistance. The Hawk Mountain Council, through SCOUTING FOR FOOD, is proud to be a major supporter of the effort to help those in need.
On Saturday, November 7th, Scouts will be out in local neighborhoods distributing door hang tags to homes and businesses with information about how to donate food in support of the Scouting for Food efforts.
On Saturday, November 14th, Scouts will return to collect the donated non-perishable food items left outside and take them to a convenient drop-off location within their local communities.
If you receive a door hang tag, please make sure to leave your donations in a visible location outside your front door or by the base of your mailbox (please do not hang on or put in your mailbox) by 8:30 AM on Saturday, November 14, 2020. Please avoid donating glass items.
If you do not receive a door hang tag or your items are not picked up, please consider bringing donations to a local food pantry, Helping Harvest or to the Hawk Mountain Council at 5027 Pottsville Pike, Reading.
Please place your donated items in plastic grocery bags or boxes and attach the door hang tag to the container.
The best items to donate are:
|CEREALS||PEANUT BUTTER||RICE||OATMEAL||DRY MILK|
|BEANS||100% FRUIT JUICE||TUNA FISH||CANNED MEATS||CANNED FRUIT|
|CANNED VEGETABLES||CANNED SOUPS||PASTA||SHAMPOO||TOOTBRUSHES|
|BABY WIPES||TOOTHPASTE||BATH WIPES|
Unit Planning and Organization
In order to be environmentally friendly, the Hawk Mountain Council is ordering door hang tags made from sustainable recycled paper instead of manufacturing 200,000 plastic bags derived from national gas and petroleum. We encourage our food donors to recycle plastic or paper bags they already have in their homes.
Door hang tags will be available to pick-up starting at your district’s October roundtable. Contact your district Scouting for Food chair, district professional or the council office if you have any questions.
COVID-19 Precautions and Guidelines
Hawk Mountain Council has been participating in Scouting For Food in support of Helping Harvest (previously Greater Berks Food Bank) every year since 1987. There has never been as much need as this year. Helping Harvest has already distributed far more food this year than they have in any full year in the past. Thank you all for participating in this critical community service project.
Hawk Mountain Council firmly believes we can conduct the Scouting for Food effort while ensuring the safety of our Scouts, our leaders, our families, and the public. We expect all units and those participating to follow established federal, state, BSA, and local guidelines. Key among those are:
- If you have COVID symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, unexplained persistent dry cough) stay home.
- If in the past 14 days you have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID, stay home.
- Wear your mask.
- As much as possible, maintain at least 6’ distance from others.
- If you are in a car with others, keep the windows down, weather permitting.
- Have hand sanitizer in the car, to use as necessary.
- If working with other Scouts in housing developments, stay in sight of, but not within 6’ of other Scouts.
- At the collection areas, minimize contact with others.
- Mask must be over nose and mouth to be effective.
- Wash hands with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- After distributing hang tags, return extras to your unit leader, who should return them to the Council office or to Helping Harvest.
- As Scouts, doing this very important community service project, we need to set good examples.
Scouting for Food Participation Patches
If you would like to order participation patches for your Scouts and adults that help out, you may download the order form and submit it to the council service center.
The primary goal of the Scouting for Food service project is for Scouts to serve and be visible in their communities by canvasing neighborhoods distributing fliers and then returning to collect the food donations. There is, however, an opportunity for units, their families, their churches, their chartered organizations, and their employers to help contribute to this effort monetarily. Monetary donations can be given directly to Helping Harvest as part of the Hawk Mountain Council Scouting for Food efforts.
Online contributions can be made directly to the Helping Harvest. Use the special purpose/dedication code of Scouting for Food to help identify the donation is part of the Scouting for Food effort. You can also donate via mail or phone as well.
Parents and leaders who work for companies that match charitable donations can have those matching funds targeted to the Hawk Mountain Council Scouting for Food effort.
- Every dollar donated allows the food bank to purchase 12 pounds of food.
- The food bank can use your dollar more efficiently than you can when purchasing food due to their network of suppliers.
- Donations are 100% tax-deductible.
- The average person eats 3-5 pounds of food per day. Each dollar donated would feed 2-3 people.
- A $50.00 donation would feed a family of four for a month
- If each one of the 8,000 Scouts registered in Hawk Mountain Council donated $1.00, this would purchase 96,000 pounds of food. This would be enough to feed 50 people for an entire year.
- If each one of the 4,000 adult leaders registered in Hawk Mountain council donated $10.00, this would purchase 480,000 pounds of food. This would be enough to feed over 70 families for an entire year.
WHAT SCOUTS AND UNITS CAN DO:
- Put out a collection box for food at your church, chartered organization, office, etc.
- Put out a collection jar for monetary donations at your church, chartered organization, office, etc.
- Put an insert into your church bulletin asking for help. You can download our sample bulletin insert template.
- Ask family members and relatives if they would like to donate a dollar or more to help in our efforts.
Mapping Unit Collection Areas
We need your help. This year we are continuing with our efforts to map the collection areas of individual units. We want to try to cover more areas with high density housing. To do this, we are asking that all units register their collection areas. Once we have all the collection areas mapped out for those units that are participating, we will identify areas with high density housing that are not covered. We will list those areas on the HMC website and send out request for units to adopt them, for the 2020 collection.
The first step is to fill out the online participation form. Even if your unit is not planning to participate, please fill out the form. For those units that are planning to participate, once we receive your registration, we will contact you to make sure we have your unit’s territory mapped out correctly. We are planning to have all the areas mapped out by October 24, 2020.
- If you’re not sure of your unit’s territory, please consult with your district Scouting for Food chair. You can also consult the interactive map of food collection areas.
- All members, both youth and adult, should be in uniform during Scouting for Food activities.
- Determine an assembly place and time for your door hang tag distribution and collection of donated food items (you may wish to use your regular unit meeting place or another convenient location).
- Be sure that Scouts travel in groups of two or more with adequate adult supervision.
- Provide enough vehicles for the number of Scouts participating and the area to be covered.
- Vehicles should stay as close to the Scouts as possible. It is highly recommended (especially for Cub Scouts) for adults to be on the streets during door hang tag distribution.
- Plan to remind all participants during the week of the drop-off and collection.
- Unit leaders must make sure the distribution and collection guidelines listed below are followed.
DISTRIBUTION AND COLLECTION GUIDELINES:
- All unit members work the assigned territory only.
- Distribute to residences only. Skip businesses and apartments with controlled access or rules against solicitation.
- Place the door hang tag on what appears to be the most frequently used door of the residence.
- Do not put in or on mailboxes. DO NOT ENTER ANY HOME FOR ANY REASON.
- Be sure that your unit returns to every home that received a door hang tag during the distribution weekend.
Door Hang Tag Return
Starting this year, door hang tags are not date specific which allows the council to re-use tags for future years thus saving paper, time, and money. Units should return their unused door hang tags to the Helping Harvest food bank with their food donations on Saturday, November 14th. Any tags needing to be returned after that can be taken directly to the council office or returned to a district Roundtable event. Please contact a district representative if you have any questions regarding the return of unused hang tags.
Service Hours Reporting
Please also make sure to report your unit’s Scouting for Food service hours.
- Units should log service hours via the Scoutbook redirect when they click “Activity Logs” (under either the individual or ‘Quick Entry’) or directly in Internet Advancement 2.0.
- Lodgemaster should be used for entering Order of the Arrow service hours. This data feeds JTE directly.
In addition the council is asking that all units complete the participation form which will allow us to better understand the numbers of youth and adults that participated with your unit.
For more information contact the council service center at 610-926-3406, your district Scouting for Food chair or district professional for details.
With everyone’s assistance, we can make a difference in whether or not a child goes hungry.