Scouting for Food Safely During the Pandemic Benefits Food Banks

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(Susan Persin, Photographer)
Boy Scout Troop 57 and Cub Scout Pack 52 got ready at Del Rey School with masks and physically distancing themselves to assemble flyers and get their routes. (L-R front) Cedric Gee, Blazen Roberts, Max Goldman, Alex Zhu and Dylan Welch. (L-R back) Scoutmaster Ken Goldman, Spencer Persin, Assistant Scoutmaster Brett Roberts, Derek Ng, and Sawyer Peterson.

    On Saturday, Nov. 7, Boy Scout Troop 57 and Cub Scout Pack 52 were at it again, fulfilling their annual Scouting for Food drive, but this time, their mission looked much different than before.
    “Usually, the kids go around in groups leaving flyers hanging from the front door, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, distributing flyers this year was more of a solo activity,” said Troop 57 Treasurer Susan Persin, also parent of a Troop 57 scout, who started as a Cub in Pack 52.
    She said each parent drove one to two scouts to neighborhoods where they distributed flyers to 1,800 households to be exact.
    “Also, the boys could not touch front doors but had to find someplace to leave flyers that wasn’t a door or inside a mailbox, but where the flyers would not blow away and become litter,” she added.
    With 20 Troop 57 kids, ages 11 to 17 and about 50 Pack 52 kids, ages 5 to 11, the arduous task took each scout and cub several hours throughout the week to accomplish.
    “Conducting a COVID-safe food drive, however, was a challenge for the scouts,” said Persin. “They gathered outdoors with masks to plan their routes and staple Food Bank remittance envelopes to the flyers.”
    Persin said in normal years, the scouts would go back the following week to pick up non-perishable food donations, but this year, to keep everyone safe, the scouts are asking Orinda residents to drop food off at St. Monica’s Church, 1001 Camino Pablo in Moraga, on Saturday, Nov. 14, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., where uniformed scouts will accept them.
    All food and monetary donations will go directly to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
    “The need is greater than ever, due to COVID-related job losses,” said Persin.
    Persin’s son, Spencer, of Troop 57, has a heart for those less fortunate than himself. “It’s important to help provide for those who are more needy than me,” he said.
    Persin could not be any prouder of him: “As a parent, I’m happy that he recognizes the need that exists in his own community and that has grown greater during

COVID-19 when many people cannot work, and I welcome his enthusiasm to do something about it.”
    She added that the need to donate either cans or money is significant, and readers can still donate by going online to https://give.foodbankccs.org/team/327458 or to find a drop-off location for non-perishable food.
    “The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is also a great place to volunteer. Our scouts earn community service hours throughout the year by bagging produce or sorting food there,” Persin added. “Opportunities are posted online at www.foodbankccs.org.”

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