CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Food pantries operators across the region say they fear many families will go hungry this holiday season because the need may be greater than ever.
That's why they're depending on a group of young men to come through in a big way.
Saturday, November 17, the Boy Scouts will head out in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois on their annual Scouting for Food drive pick-up.
Young men in uniform work to feed the Heartland through scouting for food.
"It helps the people that don't have food for Thanksgiving and Christmas," said Scout Adam Farris.
Year after year the scouts go on their crusade through Heartland neighborhoods tying the bags to your door and picking them up a week later.
"We are going out having fun and we get to help people eat put food on the table," said Scout Jason Anello.
From your cabinets, food goes to the scouts and then on to local food banks.
This year workers at Cape Girardeau's FISH Food Pantry say the need is greater than ever.
"I see a large need because of the economy now," said Ruth Boxdorfer of the FISH Pantry on Springg. "There's a lot of people that are out of work and they have other payments and food is one of the things we need to give them."
Boxdorfer says this year they are really counting on the public to help the scouts.
"It's one of those main projects that help us," Boxdorfer said. "They give us a big variety of food."
Renee Boyer works with the Shawnee District and also the FISH pantry. She says she knows this year's drive is critical.
"When I first started working at the FISH pantry we would have three or four people come in a day in the beginning," said Boyer. "Now it's not unusual for us to see ten to sixteen orders per day."
Through scouting, the boys have come to understand many of their friends and neighbors are in need.
"We want everyone to fill their bags so we can help," said Anello.
"We take it for granted," said Evan Henry, Assistant Scout Master. "It's so important even one or two cans can help but we will take as much as you have."
Last year they collected 35,000 cans. This year the scouts would love to reach 50,000.
"Oh that would make me so happy," said Boyer. "We need help so badly."
"Yes I'd love to beat it, "said Scout, Samuel Farris. "We want to help more people eat during the holidays."
"You have to think more about people who need it instead of yourself," said Adam Farris.
Remember the Scouts will be out early on November 17.
If you forget, or are unable to put your bag out on Saturday November 17, you can turn cans into the Scout office of U.S. Bank. Both are located on Gordonville Road.
Contact Renee Boyer for additional information if needed: 573-335-3346 or 573-576-7814