Roughly 46.2 million Americans live at or below the poverty level.

That’s a staggering number of people. In fact it’s the highest number in more than a half century when records were kept.

Some of those people who are trying to make ends meet live in our community. Probably more than you may be aware of according to officials at local food pantries.

There is a way you can give these folks a hand and help an organization that is preparing our country’s future leaders at the same time.

This Saturday marks the 27th annual Scouting for Food Drive in the greater St. Louis region. It is one of the largest food drives in the country.

This one-day drive raises between 20 to 30 percent of area food pantries’ yearly supply and can feed the hungry in our community for up to three months.

More than 40,000 Scouts, parents and Scouters in the Greater St. Louis Area Council make it happen. Scouts placed plastic bags on doorknobs on homes throughout the area last Saturday. They will return this Saturday to collect them.

You can help the Scouts, whose members take an oath to “help other people at all times,” by putting a few cans of food in the bag and putting them in front of your home.

The Scouts will take care of the rest by getting the food to area food pantries.

Scouting for food serves a critical need in our community right before the Thanksgiving holiday season when food banks are in the greatest need. It also exposes Scouts to community service and the invaluable lesson of helping others.

Start the holiday season off right, fill those bags this Saturday.