Boys and den leaders of San Mateo Pack 458 set out with wagons in tow and walked the streets of the Parkside and Shoreview neighborhoods of San Mateo in November collecting food for Second Harvest Food Bank.
This November, just like all of the others for the past five years, Pack 458 of San Mateo hit the streets of the Parkside neighborhood asking people to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
The pack has just 16 members out of the total of 8,500 members in the county, said Donn Lovell, cubmaster of Pack 458.
Lovell, cubmaster since 2009, said in this year’s “Scouting for Food,” as the event is called, 12 of the boys in the pack collected 1,300 pounds of food, which consisted of dried pasta, canned food, frozen turkeys and ham, among other items.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, a bright and warm Indian summer day, the boys teamed up and, led by a parent leader, spent two hours placing more than 1,800 door hangers on houses.
“It was a very nice day,” said Lovell, who was overseeing the event. “There have been years where it was pouring rain.”
On Nov. 16, the boys of Pack 458 came back to the houses whose residents responded to the door hangers, and hauled 20 pound bags of food into collection vehicles. The collection vehicles then deposited the bags of food they were carrying into one really large truck which transported the bags directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank’s San Carlos location.
Lovell hopes events like “Scouting for Food” instill the kids with values that hard work and dedication is rewarding.
“Their hard work benefited others,” Lovell said. “There were hundreds of families who got food because of their hard work.”
Saturday, Nov. 16 also happened to be the day Second Harvest dropped off food to be given to families at the Parkside Elementary School in San Mateo. Lovell said about 10 of the kids volunteered to hand out food to families at the school, so they got to see for themselves the impact they were having on families.
“The contribution from Pack 358 will go a long way toward helping Second Harvest Food Bank feed our hungry neighbors,” Second Harvest spokeswoman Caitlin Kerk wrote in an email. “The 1,300 pounds of food donated is the equivalent of 1,083 meals.”
Ardys Sandell, who volunteers distributing food at the St. John’s Lutheran Trinity Methodist church in Sunnyvale, said the church receives food from Second Harvest and distributes the food in bags every Tuesday morning. If people have cards signaling they qualify, they can get bags of food containing fresh fruit and vegetables, can foods, rice and sometimes eggs and frozen meats.
Sandell has also been the recipient of food donations, when she accepted a couple more people into her home for a while. Sandell said the bags really supplement a main meal, and aren’t substitutes for them, but the donations really help out.
The scouts also gathered 735 pairs of glasses, along with bags of candy, which were sent to the 101st and 455th Airborne divisions in the U.S. Army.
“There are a lot of San Mateo soldiers,” Lovell said. “When you talk to the soldiers they like anything from home because it means people are thinking of them. Soldiers would use toys to hand out to kids in war-torn villages.”