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Resident help sought for annual food drive

The West Fargo Scouts collect food each year to fill the shelves of the Emergency Food Pantry through their Scouting Food Drive.

The tradition will continue with the 2012 food pickup date set for Saturday, March, 24, according to event coordinator Judy Millar, with the drive viewed as "a marvelous way to do a good turn for those less fortunate in the community."

Organizers say they are most appreciative to everyone who has contributed in the past making the drive the successful event it has grown into. Last year's drive resulted in 6,960 pounds of food being collected by West Fargo, Horace and Mapleton area Scouts.

The Scouting for Food campaign will kick off Saturday, March 17, and will be handled the same what that is has prior years. Scouts will place door hangers on each house as a reminder instead of distributing the plastic bags used in the past.

During the week, citizens are asked to place non-perishable food items (no glass for safety's sake) in bags of their choice and have them ready for pickup March 24 when Scouts will return to the neighborhoods for the collection.

Donations can also be dropped off at the West Fargo Sunmart parking lot, 1100 13th Ave. E. where a truck will be located from 9 a.m. to noon on March 24, to accept the

food bags.

As an added bonus, all donations to the food shelves in March through April 8 are eligible to receive two incentive allocations, with money collected based on the pounds of food collected. The first incentive is from the Minnesota FoodShare and the second from the Alan Feinstein Foundation in New Jersey. This is the only time of the year these incentives are available to food shelves, resulting in everyone's donations automatically becoming more for the food shelf.

The Emergency Food Pantry was established in 1972. In 2011, it served 7,635 households and 26,442 individuals, which were respective increases of 11 percent and 15 percent, over 2010. The overall value of the food distributed was $1,784,835.

Scouts involved in the West Fargo Food Drive are from Pack 228, chartered by the Red River Reformed Church; Pack 232, chartered by the West Fargo VFW; Pack 234, chartered by the West Fargo Exchange Club; Pack 246, chartered by Triumph Lutheran Church; Pack 274, chartered by the Horace Lions Club; Pack 282, chartered by the Mapleton Fire Department; Troop 213, chartered by Faith Lutheran Church; Troop 232, chartered by the West Fargo VFW; Troop 246 chartered by Triumph Lutheran Church; Troop 274, chartered by Horace Lutheran Church; and Troop 279, chartered by Holy Cross Catholic Church.

Anyone who has questions, whose food bag was missed in the collection process or who forgot to set their bags out on the pickup day, is welcome to call Millar at 282-2492 for bag pickup and delivery to the food pantry. Donations can also be dropped off at the Emergency Food Pantry at 1438 10th St. N. in Fargo.