Boy scouts representing Troop 622 collected food donations at the entrances of the Bothell Fred Meyer from Nov. 14-16.
The scouts collected 5,608 pounds of non-perishable food donations and $536 in cash donations over the weekend, all of which will be donated to the Woodinville Storehouse Food Bank.
The mission of the food drive was to help feed low-income and homeless families living in north and east King County during the holidays. Six years ago, the food drive was started by a scout earning a merit badge and has grown to the point of needing U-haul truck to transport all of the donations.
“All the scouts put in multiple shifts,” troop scoutmaster Tom Nelson said. “We have them in like two-hour shifts and some put in up to 8-10 hours over the weekend.”
The food bank estimates that every dollar donated can be converted into about one pound of fresh food.
Nelson said he is affiliated with Fred Meyer and works out of their district office. This connection has proven to be advantageous for the food drive since it has allowed the troop to host the event at the grocery store, but it has also allowed the scouts and store to work together to make the food drive as impactful as possible.
“They’ll build certain displays inside the store [for] the stuff we’re asking for,” Nelson said. “It makes it readily available for the customer if they choose to participate in it, where they can just have food options readily accessible to them.”
Nelson said having key food items readily accessible can make all the difference for people wanting to donate. Not only does it make it quick and easy for shoppers, but it also directs shoppers to pick foods that the food bank is looking for.
Nelson said Fred Meyer has also done a really good job packing the shelves out and making sure that there is adequate back stock in storage for high-volume donation foods. Every year Nelson said he is impressed with how much the community gives, with some people donating entire shopping carts. But most importantly, Nelson said he is impressed with his troop and their commitment to the event as it has grown bigger and bigger through the years.