SCOUTS' FOOD DRIVE SET SATURDAY

November 06, 2001 12:00 am
FIGHTING HUNGER: Donated items are placed in a semi for the upcoming La Grande Boy Scout food drive. Those loading items are, from left, Capt. Greg Moody of the Salvation Army, Shop'n Kart vice president/secretary Randy Thomason, and Boy Scout volunteer Jerry Brookshire. In the trailer are Nick Pallis, left, and Eric Yundt, both of Pepsi. (The Observer/DICK MASON).
FIGHTING HUNGER: Donated items are placed in a semi for the upcoming La Grande Boy Scout food drive. Those loading items are, from left, Capt. Greg Moody of the Salvation Army, Shop'n Kart vice president/secretary Randy Thomason, and Boy Scout volunteer Jerry Brookshire. In the trailer are Nick Pallis, left, and Eric Yundt, both of Pepsi. (The Observer/DICK MASON).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

It is the harbinger of the start of the Season of Giving in La Grande.

The annual Boy Scouts of America food drive begins Saturday in Union County.

The Scouts goal this year is to collect 30,000 pounds of food. This would double last years total of 15,000 pounds.

Nobody in this community should go hungry, said Jerry Brookshire, a Boy Scout volunteer and former scouting district executive who is directing this years food drive.

La Grandes Veterans Day Parade, to be conducted Saturday, again will be a major part of the food drive. The parades vehicles will include a semi provided by Pepsi Cola Seven-Up Bottling Co. of Eastern Oregon at no charge. The truck will stop at every block to allow spectators to load the truck with canned and boxed food.

We want to fill the truck, said Brookshire.

The Veterans Day parade starts at 11 a.m. on East Adams Avenue. The parade will run west on Adams and will conclude at Safeway.

The parade is just one portion of Saturdays Scouting for Food drive. Boy Scouts will canvas the community that day, picking up bags of food left outside the front doors of La Grande homes and apartments. Scouts will knock on doors of residents who have not left bags out, asking if they would like to make a contribution of non-perishable food.

About 10,000 bags are being distributed in La Grande. Shopn Kart has donated the bags.

Boy Scouts will begin picking up the bags at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. People who have food to donate which has not been picked up should call 963-2984 on Saturday until 4 p.m. People should call 963-4829 after 4 p.m. Saturday to have food picked up.

Everything collected will be given to the La Grande Salvation Army Food Bank. People can also make monetary donations to the food drive. Each dollar will count

as the contribution of one pound. The Salvation Army depends on the Boy Scout food drive to provide it with its annual base. Both agencies are part of United Way of Union County.

Without help from the Boy Scouts, we would be in a world of hurt. We cant do it alone, said Salvation Army Capt. Greg Moody.

Moody said that the Salvation Armys food bank is nearing the end of its supplies.

He said that contributions are particularly needed this year because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Since then, contributions to the Salvation Army have declined because many people have sent donations to New York relief

agencies instead of Union County charities.

Everyones heart is in New York where help is needed. However, we should not forget our community, Moody said.

The Salvation Army provides food to about 120 families a month.

This is at least the second year that Pepsi has provided a semi to assist with the food drive.

Everyone needs to stick together. It is important in light of what happened on Sept. 11, said Eric Yundt, general manager of the local Pepsi-Cola Seven-Up plant.

People are encouraged to donate canned food. However, meat and frozen fruit and vegetables will be accepted at the Salvation Army, 1114 Y Ave.

Bottled water, soft drinks and juice will also be accepted, Brookshire said.

Brookshire, who runs an American Family Insurance agency in La Grande, has donated 10 cases to the food drive and is challenging other La Grande area businesses to meet or beat his challenge. Businesses that have met or beat Brookshires challenge are Shopn Kart, Country Insurance and Pepsi.

Shopn Kart is offering a 10 percent discount to all businesses that purchase 10 cases for the food drive, said Randy Thomason, vice president/secretary of the Island Avenue supermarket.

The food will be shipped directly from Shopn Kart to the Salvation Army.