PHOTOS PROVIDED/BLYTH YOUNG CUB SCOUT PACK AND BOY SCOUT TROOP #28 WORK HARD TO DONATE TO CRESWELL FOOD PANTRY. THEY RECENTLY PARTICIPATED IN THE BOY SCOUTS NATIONAL FOOD DRIVE, COLLECTING 565 POUNDS OF NON-PERISHABLE FOOD IN JUST TWO HOURS. Photos provided/Blyth Young
The season of goodwill, giving and grace is upon us. From now through the end of 2018, traditions bring family and friends together in time honored celebrations that always involve good food.
As the darkness of winter creeps in, there may be neighbors who might not have enough food for everyone in the household; however, Creswell has many good people and great organizations that share food abundantly.
Throughout the fall, a steady stream of organizations donate food to Creswell Food Pantry located in the Cobalt Building on Cobalt Lane, providing year round service to qualifying households in the community.
Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop #28 are among local service organizations donating to Creswell Food Pantry. They recently participated in the Boy Scouts National Food Drive, collecting 565 pounds of non-perishable food in just two hours. Five vehicles transported 25 boys throughout local neighborhoods increasing their donation over last year’s 396 pounds.
Blythe Houg, who oversees Creswell Cub Scouts said, ”Scouting For Food is such a great program. The food is collected here and goes right back into the community.”
Aside from the service of collecting food for Creswell Food Pantry, the Cub Scout Pack – which includes children from kindergarten through fifth grade – learns many lessons in the process.
”There are so few situations where children are taught good values,” Houg said. ”The boys learn good manners and how to interact with adults in asking for donations, as well as working cooperatively with each other. Levels of integrity, kindness and honesty are acquired along with basic skills like safety around vehicles and being on the street.”
Canned and bulk foods such as dried beans, pasta, and rice are among the non-perishables the Cub Scouts collect, but a variety fresh potatoes, onions, squash, broccoli and cauliflower are nutritious additions to everyday staples Creswell Food Pantry offers local families.
Susan Blachnik, Creswell Food Pantry manager said, ”People are thoughtful about giving traditional foods for the holidays.” Running down a list from memory, Susan ticked off food items that are on everyone’s grocery list this time of year, right down to the cranberry sauce. Though turkeys are not available at the Food Pantry, chicken is a welcome substitute.
”On average, we serve 169 households per month,” Susan said. ”But in the fall and winter the actual number goes up due to any given number of circumstances. On Nov. 16, 72 families were served though 40 families is the norm. Illness or loss of a job can happen to anyone, and we serve people in all kinds of situations.”
Susan explained one of their programs, Food For Kids, serves 90 children each week providing staples, like bread and peanut butter, so the children will have food over the weekend.
”Creslane Elementary will finish their food drive on Friday, Nov. 16 and compete with other schools to donate the most weight. Onions and potatoes are favorite donations because they’re heavy.” Susan said.
She went on to say Banner Bank had a drive during the month of September. Creswell Church of the Nazarene, Emerald People’s Utility District, The Letter Carriers, and Creswell Middle School contribute to Creswell Food Pantry during their various campaigns throughout the fall.
For members of the community who would like to donate food for the holiday season, Ms. Houg said donations will be accepted on behalf of the Cub Scouts through Christmas at VFW Post 4039 at 111 South 10th St. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Visit the Cub Scout’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cubpack28/ for more information about their service organization.
To contact Creswell Food Pantry visit their website at http://communityfoodforcreswell.org/ or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/CreswellFoodPantry/. Creswell Food Pantry is located at 364 Cobalt Lane, and is open every Thursday from 12:30 p.m to 3 p.m. Send email to [email protected] for further information.