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Scouts and their adult leaders from troops and packs all over Northern Virginia will be gathering food from their neighbors November 13 and bringing it to local charities in the annual Scouting for Food collection. 

Operating the food drive safely during the pandemic is a primary concern for scout leaders. Scouts will be masked and will conduct the food drive outdoors for maximum safety while serving their community. 

All food is donated to local charities that distribute the food to those in need in the community. All of the charities will also observe pandemic safety precautions. Four charities will receive food from the scouts between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the public is also welcome to drop off nonperishable food. 

The charities are: LINK receiving food at Trinity Presbyterian Church at 651 Dranesville Road, Herndon; Community of Faith UMC Food Pantry at 13224 Franklin Farm Road, Herndon; Cornerstones, receiving food at the 11484 Washington Plaza West, Reston, and the South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry, will receive food from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at 1133 Reston Ave, Herndon.

“LINK is doubling the number of families that we are serving this holiday season to accommodate the new clients that LINK has been serving during the pandemic,” said Betty Eidemiller of LINK. “Food insufficiency in Herndon, Sterling, and Ashburn is great and LINK volunteers are working hard to provide, thanks to all the generosity that we see from the community.”

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“Scouting for Food is an important link in providing food for families in our neighborhoods,” explained Reverend Robert Vaughn, Community of Faith UMC. “Eighty-five percent of all the non-perishable items come from the annual collection – every can, box and bag make a difference in the lives of our clients. Some of our families receive their entire week’s groceries from the food ministry.” The number of families served by Community of Faith has grown by about 60 percent during the pandemic.

“Since COVID -19, the South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry has pivoted to a contact-free distribution system,” said Roberta Gosling. “We pack 20-25 pound bags of food and distribute that along with many other items to approximately 140 families each week at South Lakes High School. This number continues to grow every week. These groceries serve students and families in the SLHS Pyramid. Prior to the pandemic, we knew that approximately 30 percent of the students at SLHS were food insecure - that’s approximately 730 students. Many have told us that these groceries and other products have been a life-saver for them.”

“Scouting for Food as well as other food drives are really important to Cornerstones food pantry - they help us provide food for our community who are in need and who cannot afford to buy food,” said Minnie Orozco of Cornerstones.”

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Last year, more than 400 scouts and 300 adult leaders collected 38,978 pounds of food in the Powhatan District covering Great Falls, Herndon, Reston, Oakton, and Chantilly.

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