MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Community Food Bank got another helping hand from the community courtesy of the members of Cub Scout Pack 180, who showed up at the Food Bank’s doorstep carrying enough non-perishable food items to equal the weight of four and a half Cub Scouts.
The Cub Scouts handed over their 352 pounds of food items to Marysville Community Food Bank Director Dell Deierling on the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 15, as Grace Ustaris, committee chair for the Cub Scout pack, explained how her kids had collected that much food between the latter half of November and the early weeks of December.
“Our core values that we wanted to demonstrate for the month of November were citizenship and goodwill toward the community,” said Ustaris, who credited 19 Scouts with generating this haul. “It’s probably the biggest turnout we’ve ever had. We did amazingly well.”
Ustaris noted that the Scouts managed to collect this many cans of food at the same time that they were fulfilling other community service commitments they’d made, including singing Christmas carols at the Marysville Care Center and a session of tree-planting at the Qwuloolt Estuary.
Mark Gorrell is past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Council 7863, the charter organization for Cub Scout Pack 180, and he agreed with Ustaris that the Scouts’ activities have been in keeping with the Knights of Columbus’ core values of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.
“This is definitely a cause that’s an ongoing benefit to the community as a whole,” Gorrell said. “The holiday season is a prime time for such giving. We in the Knights of Columbus work hand in hand with the Cub Scouts, and we’ve been very impressed by the teamwork they’ve demonstrated in working together.”
Deierling not only gave the Scouts a chance to weigh the food they collected, along with themselves, on the Food Bank’s large scale, but also explained how important such contributions are to the Food Bank, well beyond the holidays.
“This is essential inventory for us,” Deierling said. “The donations we receive now feed our clients not only through the holidays, but also up to March or April, when we start to get low again. That’s why the Letter Carriers’ Drive in May is so important to replenish our stock. Our inventory levels don’t follow a straight line.”
While the Food Bank fed an estimated 715 families Thanksgiving meals, Deierling only anticipates to feed 650 families Christmas meals, which is still a significant client list.
“For me, it’s always great to see kids involved in this,” Deierling said. “I hope it teaches them about philanthropy, and if they hit harder times as adults, I hope they’ll remember the Food Bank as a place that they shouldn’t be ashamed to go to if they need assistance.”