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Scouting for Food Drive is happening this weekend. Here’s what you need to know.

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Food donations for the Community Food Basket – Idaho Falls that will help people in need. | Courtesy Idaho Falls Community Food Basket Facebook page

IDAHO FALLS — With everything that’s transpired this year due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, now is the perfect time to give if you can and help your neighbors in need.

Due to COVID-19 forcing many food donations and food drives to cancel events and collections, the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket teamed up with several local organizations to host a regionwide, month-long food drive in October. The Community Food Basket’s goal is to collect 120,000 pounds of food — which equals 93,000 meals — and as of Wednesday, the group had 80,000 pounds.

In an effort to reach that lofty goal, the Idaho Falls community is being asked to donate to the 2020 Scouting for Food Drive that will take place Oct. 24 with donations being picked up from homes between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We have seen more than a 100% increase from the number of people that we’re serving, pre-pandemic,” Ariel Jackson, Executive Director of Idaho Falls Community Food Basket told EastIdahoNews.com. “(In) February we were serving 1,100 a month, this month, we’ll see 2,500 families.”

Jackson said they want to feed everybody they can through the winter and holiday season, but to do so, it will require work. Before The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the scouting organization separated at the end of 2019, the partnership would bring in between 50,000 to 80,000 pounds of food.

Scout Executive of the Grand Teton Council Boy Scouts of America, Clarke Farrer, said he reached out to local leaders of the LDS church several months ago to see if they could work together. On this one particular project, local LDS youth groups — both young men and women — are helping with the food drive.

“We have a combination effect. There’s an increasing demand or need for food in the community because of the pandemic and a decreased supply because of the pandemic,” Farrer said. “This is an opportunity for the community to rally together and meet a very important need.”

He added that in the past, picking up donations from homes was the major focus for Scouting for Food, but the difference this year is that there are drop-off bins in several locations.

“We want people to remember the Scouts are here. They’re helping their community,” Jackson explained. “If you can give, we would love to have it (so you can) help feed your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers. You never know who had breakfast this morning and who didn’t and we try to address that need.”

The Scouting for Food drop off locations for the North District include:

Community Food Basket
1895 N. Boulevard
Idaho Falls, ID 83401

Albertsons (Ammon)
1901 S. 25th E.
Ammon, ID 83406

Albertsons (17th)
590 E. 17th St.
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Albertsons (Broadway)
1705 W. Broadway St.
Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Sam’s Club
700 E. 17th St.
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership
275 Stationary Place
Rexburg, ID 83440

The Giving Cupboard
153 N. 3900 E.
Rigby, ID 83442

Ririe Senior Center
395 Main St.
Ririe, ID 83443

Broulim’s Fresh Foods
124 W. Main St.
Rexburg, ID 83440

For a complete list of Scouting for Food drop off locations, click here.

For more information on the Community Food Basket — Idaho Falls and its month-long food drive, visit the organization’s Facebook page.

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