NUTLEY, NJ - Boy Scouts, Wolves, Bears, and Lions will be joining forces in March to go 'Scouting for Food' to benefit the Nutley Family Service Bureau's (NFSB) food pantry operation. The township wide food drive takes place March 21, with bag distribution taking place a week earlier. 

After last year's record-breaking food drive, project chairman Walt Smith said “This was an exhausting day, but a great way to teach the Scouts, especially the young Cub Scouts the meaning of helping others." In 2019, the Scouts collected 34,046 items. 

The need this time of the year is especially great. The local pantry serves about 200 families including nearly 300 children. The growth in families receiving assistance from the pantry is due in large part to NFSB's outreach efforts alerting residents that the pantry is there to help. 

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The "one-day" food drive actually begins a week before the event. That's when donated grocery bags will be delivered to homes throughout Nutley on March 14 with instructions from scouts. Residents can them leave donated items in those bags, at their front door, to be picked up on March 21. 

While scouts are out collecting bags from across Nutley, another group of scouts will be working at the Nutley Park ShopRite collecting donations from patrons. While that's going on, a fleet of cars and SUVs will be delivering the donated food to Franklin Reformed Church where another team of volunteers from several community groups will start the process of checking expiry dates of donated items and sorting them so like items can be shelved together. 

In addition to food, personal care items for the care pantry at Vincent United Methodist Church will be also be accepted.  Some suggestions for food donations are: tuna, canned chicken, soup, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, canned fruit, peanut butter, jelly, hot/cold cereal, coffee, tea, baby formula/food and canisters of oatmeal. The pantry accepts all non-perishable groceries, but not expired cans, so please check expiration dates before donating items.  Cans and plastic jars are easier to handle than glass jars.

The project has grown from collecting 3,405 items in 2007 to 10,653 in 2013 to 17,475 in  2016 to 22,425 in 2017, 27,745 in 2018 and  34,046 in 2019.


Related Article: Nutley’s Scouting for Food Drive Smashes Records All To Combat Food Insecurity


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