NUTLEY, NJ — The recent food drive conducted by the Nutley Boy Scout Troop 147 and Cub Scout Packs 141 and 142 saw a record collection for the Nutley Food Pantry housed at the local Nutley Family Service Bureau office, formerly the Red Cross office, on Chestnut Street. As of this date 34,046 food items were collected, up more than 6,000 from the previous high of 27,712 collected last year. That amounts to a 23 percent increase. In 2013 the total was 10,653. The project in Nutley began in 2006 and 2007 is the first year of recording the totals with 34,05 items collected.
“This was an exhausting day, but a great way to teach the Scouts, especially the young Cub Scouts the meaning of helping others,” stated Walt Smith, Pack 141 chairman and chairman of the project. “After toping 13,000 food items in 2013 I thought we reached our maximum potential, with last year’s incredible total of 27,765, but this year was amazing. The need this time of the year is especially great. We were able to reach this remarkable total because we now have more Scouts in Nutley participating. This year 95 percent of all Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts actively participated and a major effort was made to coordinate coverage of nearly all street in town,” continued Smith . “The Scouts would like to thank the Nutley community for generous donations to help those in need in our town”, said Smith.
“I want to congratulate each of the Boy Scout troop and Cub Scout packs for their leadership in organizing their respective group to make the project a tremendous success and to the many Nutley Family Service Bureau volunteers for their valuable help at the Pantry,” stated Smith. The organizing committee, in addition to Smith, included Co-chair Monica Suarez, Joel Perez, Jennifer Boyes, Marisa Treglio and Chris Treglio, leaders of Pack 142 Joanne Gola Troop 147, Joann Kielblock Pack 141, and Eileen Painter, executive director of the Nutley Family Service Bureau.
More than 120 Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts participated in the project. “Nutley Family Service Bureau gathered an additional 120 volunteers to help at the collection site,” stated Eileen Painter. “The day would not have been such a big success without the volunteer’s enthusiastic help. All those items will support the Food Panty and the more than 225 households for much of the year. We are thrilled to partner with the Nutley Scouts to fill the pantry,” continued Painter in discussing the drive.
Boy Scout troop 147 was led by Scott Bolton at 800 and Edward Grieg at 543. The younger Cub Scouts were led by Evan Blanchard with 530 and Teddy Treglio of Pack 142 with 529. The Ballou brothers collected 858. Pack 141 was let by Daniel Kielblock, Jr. with 751 followed by Andrew Gumeny with 643 and Daniel DiCristo with 565. Jeffrey and Jesse Quinn collected 559 Simon and John Tevletidis had 544. “The efforts of individual Scouts has reached a whole new level Smith added “We are proud of every single Scout for their effort in helping our residents in need”.
The campaign was launched on “Bag Distribution Day” the weekend of March 23 when Scouts distribute bags to residences in Nutley. The committee counted the number of houses on every street, and then assigned a Scout to each of the 8,300 home to drop off a bag. The Scouts returned to the residences on the following week, “Bag Collection Day,” to retrieve the bags filled with donated non-perishable items.
Within hours of the Scouts’ pickup, the donations were on deliver to the collection site at Franklin Reformed Church.
Dozens of volunteers are working every day to transport the huge inventory to the food pantry on Chestnut Street. Some items will be temporally stored at the old bicycle shop on Franklin Avenue. Boy Scouts from Troops 147 coordinated the reception of food items at the building along with Scout leader Monica Suarez and Painter, executive director of the Nutley Family Service Bureau and more than 100 other volunteers and board members from the Bureau.
Scouts were also outside Nutley Park ShopRite on March 30 to accept donations from residents. Over 1,000 items were donated there.
The food pantry at the Family Service Bureau in Nutley is one of the largest in Essex County.
Scouting for Food is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. Scouting for Food began as a service project for the St. Louis Area Council in 1985 and was adopted by the National Organization in 1988 when 1 million Scouts collected an estimated 65 million cans of nonperishable food. This year marks the 34th year of this great event. Every year, thousands of Scouts and adult volunteers spend two Saturdays doing a “good turn.”
Across the country, in many councils and districts, thousands of troops and packs with thousands of Scouts involved in collect tens of millions of pounds of food which is distributed to needy neighbors. Scouting for Food is the nation’s largest one-day food drive, raising 30 percent of area food pantries’ yearly supply and feeding the hungry in the community for more than four months.
Every time a Cub Scouts recites the Cub Scout pledge he promises to help others and in the Boy Scout Promise, a Boy Scout promises to help other people at all times.
By participating in a Scouting for Food program, scouts get a step closer to fulfilling those words.