Submitted by Cherie Piccone
In their quest for their Bronze and Silver Awards, the girls of Troop 60474 identified the need for a summer food bank for kids in their own community. The girls have always participated in community service projects at shelters by preparing and serving food. When planning for their award projects, they felt passionate about helping kids from their own community. They were shocked to learn that children from their own school struggled on weekends with access to food. The girls didn’t realize that without access to school breakfast/lunch programs during the weekend, the last meal low-resource children may have would be lunch on Friday until they returned to school on Monday morning. The girls were concerned about the obstacles these kids would face during the summer and decided to take action. They reached out to several food banks, but discovered limited resources during the summer and decided to create their own summer food bank.
With two Juniors and 11 Cadettes in the same troop, the girls broke off into smaller, more focused groups to make their goal a reality. Each small group addressed different aspects of establishing the food bank. For example, three girls were responsible for procuring sites for the food drives and organizing the sign-ups. Another small group was responsible for proper storage, sorting, and labeling of food. Another group was responsible for creating a well-balanced, weekly selection of foods. (i.e. three fruits, three veggies, three proteins). They also created a spreadsheet that organized what food, which families, and the dates. Another group worked with the procurement of the pick-up site and arranged the sign-up for weekly drop-offs.
They could partner with a local church to arrange for weekly drop-offs. It was important to the girls that the recipients and themselves remained anonymous. Because the church had limited space, the girls had to arrange for weekly drop-offs over the course of the whole summer. Not only were the families happy to have the weekly donations, they discovered that this church could help them longterm. Many of the families found another resource to help them. Because of this, their summer food bank continued to help these families even when school resumed.
As the leader for Troop 60476, it was difficult to take on the Bronze and Silver Awards with such a large and mixed level troop. I am confident that the work these young ladies completed made an impact in our community where needs are not always easily identified. I am amazed and proud of their accomplishments.
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