Scouts BSA Troop 33 in Takoma Park, Maryland ran a virtual food drive for two weeks in mid-April, which collected over 5,000 to help the Capital Area Food Bank provide meals to vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 emergency. Like a 5K road race, the food drive had a specific challenge with a measurable goal. In this case, the 5K theme represented a race to collect 5,000 food items resulting in much-needed assistance to children, families, seniors, and other individuals who are food-insecure at this time.
Scouts are known for acts of service, many of which are enabled through in-person, group activities. The current state of emergency, with stay-at-home orders and social distancing, presents opportunities for Scouts to think about how to serve others while remaining obedient to public health policies and keeping themselves out of harm’s way. Troop 33, and a supportive community of other youth and adults, faced the conundrum head on and exceeded the 5K goal. The total 5,380 food items collected is valued at $11,243.24, and weighs nearly two tons!
The food drive happened 100% online, powered by a giving platform developed by the woman-owned business YouGiveGoods. The food items will be shipped directly from YouGiveGoods to the Capital Area Food Bank by the end of April. Troop 33 hopes its success will inspire other units to imagine how they can meet the challenges of Scouting in these unprecedented times. The troop is celebrating 100 years of service this year, and has called the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church its home for the entire time. Troop 33 is grateful to everyone who pitched in to support the food drive, and their virtuous efforts to help others in a moment of crisis.