Scouting for Food drive stocks local pantry
The Eudora Ministerial Alliance food pantry's shelves were almost barren early Saturday morning when coordinator Laura Klotz arrived, she said.
But starting about 9 a.m. wave after wave of canned goods started filling in the empty spaces. Boxes and sacks of food came through the doorway at St. Paul United Church of Christ stuffed with donations from the community.
By the end of the day, the shelves weren't bare any longer. More than 4,100 cans, boxes and packages of food were delivered to the pantry during the apparent success of the annual "Scouting for Food" food drive.
"This is the biggest day for the food pantry," Klotz said.
Throughout the morning, Scouts from Eudora Boy Scout Troop 64, Pack 3064 and the Eudora Girl Scouts fanned throughout the city to collect food.
The Eudora 4-H Club and students from an American government class at Eudora High School supplemented the Scouts by collecting food from the newer parts of the city.
"This seemed to be a big help," organizer John Scott said.
About 125 people volunteered time to the project, he said.
Last year, the group had to struggle to find people to cover the city because Eudora had grown so much, he said.
This year the added manpower helped make the drive the most successful in recent memory.
"This is by far the biggest (response) we've gotten in several years," Scott said.
While the Scouts and volunteers spread throughout the city, a crew at the church kept a steady assembly line flowing to organize the items.
Members of the ministerial alliance as well as eight congregation members from St. Paul volunteered their time Saturday morning.
Although no longer a Scout, Eudora High School student Nick Tillman also pitched in to help.
"It's good to do something for the community," he said.
Boy Scout Devon Middleton, 11, worked in the basement separating the food out by type and putting it back into boxes.
He noticed more coming this year.
"It looks like it's going pretty good," Devon said midway through the drive. "It's a lot of food."
The pantry got another big boost from a separate food drive sponsored by the Curves fitness company, Klotz said. The Scouts brought in several boxes collected by Frankie Beyer at the exercise facility's Main Street location.
All the extra donations came at a great time, Klotz said.
The pantry uses the Scouting for Food drive as one of its main pushes for the year, Klotz said.
"This is going to take us through the summer," she said.
The pantry also asks for food throughout the year, but especially during the Christmas holiday season.
After the last bags of food trickled in, the day's drive left an impression on Devon.
"Wow. This community is really giving," he said.
For more information about the food pantry or to donate, call 542-3876.