Local Scouts will do their part to collect food for the Union Food Pantry.

The annual Scouting for Food Drive will be held this Saturday, and provides more food for the Union pantry than any other collection effort.

According to Mark Murray, who heads up the drive for the Union area, all of the food collected here stays here.

Through the Scouting for Food Drive plastic bags are tied to doorknobs or posts Nov. 9 for people to fill with food items. The filled bags will be picked up Saturday, Nov. 16.

Scouts ask that the filled bags be placed in view of the road by 9 a.m. Saturday.

The drive can’t come at a better time, said pantry volunteer Jan Brennan.

She added that there were 56 families served last week alone, who are comprised of 157 adults and children.

“For some reason it was a big week,” Brennan said. “In two days we really served a lot of people.”

On the average week, the pantry serves about 40 families.

The pantry is in short supply of peanut butter and jelly, which is usually given to families with children.

Some of the other items that are needed more than others at the pantry include canned meats, including beef stew, Spam, chicken and roast beef. There always is a need for Hamburger Helper type foods, canned soups and fruits, as well as cereal, according to Brennan.

She noted that dry pasta and dried beans also are needed at the pantry.

“We’re appreciative of whatever families give us,” Brennan said.

About the Pantry

The Union Food Pantry, a Christian outreach organization located at 113 W. Locust St., serves the Union and Villa Ridge areas.

Since 1994, the number of families who are helped by the Union Food Pantry each year has increased.

Now the pantry averages more than 160 families per month.

Families needing assistance are invited to call the food pantry at 636-584-7050.

Food can be dropped off between 2-4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, or by appointment.

There are food pantry donation boxes at many local churches. Contributions of grocery items can also be taken directly to the food pantry at 113 Locust St., Union.

Union Food Pantry serves the Union and Villa Ridge ZIP codes. It shares with other area food pantries and receives support from the United Way.

The facilities are donated, and it uses only unpaid volunteers. Monetary donations are used to purchase perishable items, such as meat. Nearly 100 percent of donations go directly to serve those in need.

Many volunteers generously donate time to the food pantry to mark food expiration dates, stock shelves, staff the facility, distribute pantry items to families, and purchase food.