After the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) canceled all area 2020 Scouting For Food events due to COVID-19 concerns, local troops are preparing to still collect as much food as possible, in any way they can.
Instead of sending Scouts to collect food door-to-door, donations will be brought to drop-off centers located around the region. The food will be stored for a couple days before adults in the organization will take it to the local food pantries the organization works with each year.
“We’ll have Scouts in attendance, but we’re not going to have the kids handling it,” said Ken Etter, district executive for the Osage District. “We’re trying to keep our young people safe.”
The groups will also utilize a “Text to Donate” line where people can text their ZIP code and the amount of money they want to donate, and the funds will be given to food pantries in that ZIP code. All of the money donated through the text drive will be directed to the pantries. Text “SCOUTFOOD” to 91999 to donate.
“The biggest thing with Scouting for Food is that all the food stays local,” Etter said.
The Osage District typically provides food to 24 area pantries. For many, it’s the biggest donation they receive all year. Etter said at some pantries the cans collected during Scouting for Food keep the shelves stocked until March. He said this is part of the reason Scouting leadership is working so hard to organize safe ways to collect.
“A lot of our Scout leaders also help out at their local food pantry, so they know that the need is there,” Etter said.
The tentative dates for the collection will be Saturday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Dec. 13, although some locations will collect until Christmas.
The St. Louis-based council abruptly called off the 2020 Scouting for Food Friday morning in light of the state of Illinois, St. Louis city and St. Louis County imposing new COVID-19 safety mandates. About 75 percent of the sites the organization was planning to use to collect and sort food had to cancel, which left troops all over the region scrambling for other options.
“For us to continue the traditional door-to-door and collection process, we would have been in violation of the mandates, and this goes against the policies of the BSA,” Etter wrote in an email to Scouting members Tuesday.
The complete list of drop-off locations is still being added to. The current list of locations, broken down by city and in alphabetical order, and pick-up times is as follows:
Beaufort Lions Club, 2041 Lutheran Church Road, 9 to 2 p.m., Nov. 21.
Voss Market, 3993 Missouri Highway 50, by Dec. 13.
Town and Country Bank, 188 E. Pine St., by Dec. 13.
Town and Country Supermarket, 150 W. Pine St., by Dec. 13.
People's Bank, 101 E. Pine St., by Dec. 13.
Gerald Food Pantry, 17 E. Fourth St., 9 to 11 a.m., Nov. 21.
Labadie General Store, 108 Front St. Suite 104, by Dec. 13.
Wagner's Store, 3732 Missouri Highway 30, by Dec. 13.
S & R Convenience Store, 15397 State Highway 47, by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
Cori's Twin Gabels, 101 State Highway 47, by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
St. Paul UCC Church, 103 S. Second St., by Dec. 13.
Lake Sherwood Mail Center, by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
K & R Market, 15971 State Highway 47, by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
St. Ignatius Church, 19127 Mill Road, by Dec. 13.
Marthasville Elementary, 800 E. Main St., by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
Augusta Elementary 5541 Locus St., by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
Augusta Visitors Center, 5577 Walnut St., by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
Augusta Shores Berg Center, by 9 a.m., Nov. 21.
Bethany UCC, 1533 Schluersburg Road, by Dec. 13.
Save-A-Lot, 515 Harold Meyer Drive, by Dec. 25.
Seitter's Market, 109 Seitter Drive, by Dec. 25.
Dollar General, 101 Immanuel Ave., by Dec. 25.
Pratt's Rexall Drugs, 100 Dwayne Von Behran Drive, by Dec. 25.
B & H Market, 2244 W. Osage St., by Dec. 13.
Dollar General, 505 E. Osage St., 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 21.
Dollar General, 2248 W. Osage St., 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 21.
Pacific Baptist Church, 2050 Old Gray Summit Road, by Dec. 13.
Route 66 Realtors, 1101 W. Osage St., by Dec. 13.
Save-A-Lot, 2700 W. Osage St., by Dec. 13.
Robertsville Elementary, 4000 Highway N, by Dec. 13.
Rosebud Antiques, 213 Missouri Highway 50, 9 to 11 a.m., Nov. 21.
Country Mart, 925 St. Clair Plaza Drive, by Dec. 13.
Save-A-Lot, 1100 N. Commercial Ave., by Dec. 13.
Elks Lodge Pavilion, 35 E. North St., 9 a.m. to noon, Nov. 21.
City Hall, 10 E. Locust St., by Dec. 13.
Fricks Market, 401 Central Ave., by Dec. 13.
Fink's ALPS, 100 Highway 50, by Dec. 13.
Immaculate Conception School, 6 W. State St., in cooperation with Thanksgiving Food Drive.
Immaculate Conception School Pavilion, 6 W. State St., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 21.
Union R-XI Schools, various addresses, in cooperation with Cans for Cops Food Drive.
Scenic Regional Library, 251 Union Plaza Drive, by Dec. 13.
St. John Church Gildehaus, 5567 Gildehaus Road, Nov. 21.
St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, 310 W. Main St., Nov. 21 and 22.
Knights of Columbus (parking lot), 1121 Columbus Lane, Nov. 21.
Walmart (parking lot), 1701 Aroy Drive, by Dec. 5.
City Hall, 405 Jefferson St., by Dec. 13.
Washington Police Department, 301 Jefferson St., by Dec. 13.
Scenic Regional Library, 410 Lafayette St., by Dec. 13.
Washington Public Works, 4 Chamber Drive, by Dec. 13.