Kirk Van Katwyk, a charter organization representative overseeing a group of four Cub Scout and Boy Scout units, is organizing the food drive for a second year. During the 2012 Scouting for Food effort, Tracy residents donated more than 11,000 pounds of food.
Van Katwyk said scouts began distributing 5,000 door hangers — cards asking for donations — on Saturday, Nov. 9, with a list of the nonperishable food items needed to fill holiday baskets. The hangers continued to go up this week in neighborhoods throughout Tracy. Van Katwyk said all of Tracy will be covered, except the downtown area.
With the economy still slumping, celebrating the holidays can be challenging for people struggling to make ends meet.
“Thanksgiving and Christmas is always a hard time — but everyone is in a giving mood this time of year,” Van Katwyk said. “We make it convenient for people to donate.”
This year’s drive will have more than 150 children from 10 scouting groups — including Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and American Heritage Girls from Tracy, Mountain House and Lammersville — gathering the donations.
Darlene Quinn, director of Interfaith Ministries, said the influx of supplies will be welcome, as more people ask for holiday help each day.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 25 people signed up for food baskets, raising the total to 358. Quinn said she expected the need could reach 600.
“We are hoping that with all the stuff that comes in, we will be able to fill the baskets,” Quinn said. “It really does make a difference.”
Based on an inventory of the
pantry, Quinn said Interfaith was especially short of canned yams, pies and canned meats.
She said a large number of turkey donations arrived after community members read a story about Interfaith’s shortfall in the Tracy Press, but more are needed for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
On Saturday, the scouts will break into groups of three with an assigned driver and head out to neighborhoods starting at 9 a.m. to pick up food donations for three hours.
Van Katwyk asked anyone donating food to pack it in a box or a recycled bag and place it on the curb or in view of the street before 9 a.m.
Scouts will sort the food and deliver it to Tracy Interfaith Ministries, 311 W. Grant Line Road.
Van Katwyk said the children who participate learn the benefits of helping people in their community.
“What is fun for them is they see the tangible results of all their efforts,” Van Katwyk said. “At Interfaith, they see all the food, all the people busy working.”
Some scouts will also help sort the food at the food bank and pack it into boxes.
Van Katwyk said scouts cannot take glass containers. Anyone wanting to donate but unable to leave food out Saturday morning can deliver it to Interfaith between 1 and 3 p.m.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.