Anson County Boy Scouts will participate in a national community service project, Scouting for Food, on Saturday, Feb. 4.
Starting immediately, scouts will distribute grocery bags in local areas, churches and neighborhoods to be filled with non-perishable food items. Filled bags will then be collected the first weekend in February and donated to Anson Crisis Ministry to help replenish their food pantry, which is generally at its lowest level in the winter and after a holiday season.
All donations are appreciated, organizers say, but the most-needed items are meals in a can, such as soup, stew and chili, tuna or canned chicken, peanut butter, canned foods with pop-top lids, fruit canned in juice or water, low-sodium canned vegetables, olive or canola oil, spices, low-sugar whole-grain cereal, and healthy snacks like granola bars, nuts and dried fruit.
According to Hunger Research, a consortium based out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27.2 percent of the children of Anson County live in food-insecure homes. Food insecurity is when children and families do not have consistent access to food due to limited income or resources, so they are hungry or faced by the threat of hunger. Additionally, North Carolina ranks as the fifth-worst state in the U.S. for childhood obesity due to limited opportunity for a balanced diet including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Monetary donations are also accepted, as just $1 provides 7 pounds of food to families in need.
If churches or civic or neighborhood organizations would like to help, representatives can contact Christopher Ratliff at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 919-441-7143.
Laura Laney is a volunteer with Anson County Boy Scouts.