San Fernando Valley chapters of the Boy Scouts of America collected and distributed more than 160,000 cans and packages of food to local food banks Saturday as part of the first nationwide food drive the organization has staged, Boy Scout officials said.
About 1,800 Scouts aged 7 to 18 canvassed Valley neighborhoods Saturday, picking up plastic shopping bags brimming with everything from pork and beans to a bottle of wine.
The Scouts had distributed the bags last weekend with requests to fill them and leave them outside for collection Saturday.
At three Valley collection stations--in Canoga Park, Van Nuys and North Hollywood--scores of trucks donated for the day by Allied Van Lines and the National Guard dropped off the food. From there, the food was transported to regional food banks, which were expected to distribute the goods to smaller food banks in the area this week.
“About 18 months ago our national office came out and said that certain things in our society were unacceptable,” said Ebe Winter, director of support services for the Western Los Angeles Council of Boy Scouts. “Hunger was one of those unacceptable things. That was the reasoning behind this type of thing.”
Winter said the amount of food donated was on target with what the Boy Scouts had hoped to receive.