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East Central University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team members (from left) Stefany Stewart, Shelby McCarty and Rasheed Lowery sort and box food donated by ECU staff and faculty members during the on-campus Scouting for Food event. The Ada Scouting for Food event will take place this week.

Photo submitted
Ada Evening News

Area Boy Scouts, with help from the ECU Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team and other volunteers, are  “Scouting for Food” this week (April 4-9) in Ada. Scouting for Food is a nationwide good turn effort of the Boy Scouts of America to collect non-perishable food items and then turn the collected items over to area food banks to distribute following their procedures.

According to Project Coordinator Stefany Stewart many people do not realize that hunger is a problem right here in Ada, Pontotoc County and Oklahoma. Stewart, a junior business administration major from Paoli, says that statistics from the Feeding America organization indicate that more than 600,000 Oklahomans (17 percent) qualify as being food insecure.

“This means they do not always know where they will find their next meal,” she explained and added that, “Oklahoma ranks as the sixth hungriest state in the nation.”

On Thursday, April 7 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, SIFE Team members and other volunteers will be distributing to many Ada homes plastic shopping bags along with instructions on how to donate non-perishable food items. Those who wish to donate can simply place items in the bag and leave them on their doorsteps on the morning of Saturday, February 9. Scouts will collect the bags between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day. From there the donated items will be taken to drop off points and then distributed to local food banks.

Scouting for Food is already underway on the ECU campus. Faculty and staff received bags and instructions in their university mailboxes last week and already over 200 items have been collected. Residence Hall residents have also been asked to donate and those items will be collected the week of April 4-9. 

Area Scouts will be manning drop-off locations at Apple Market (220 East 13th) and Wal-Mart Supercenter (1601 Lonnie Abbott Rd.) between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, April 9.

Those who wish to make a donation and do not receive shopping bags and instructions can leave their donations at either of the drop off centers.

Cash donations will also be accepted and this money will be used to buy food items.

For the ECU SIFE Team this project will be a part of their participation in the “Let’s Can Hunger” event sponsored by the Campbell Soup Company.

This spring the SIFE team will be doing several activities related to hunger relief and hunger awareness.

“Local Scout units will be participating in Scouting for Food in different ways,” says project advisor, local scouter and SIFE Team advisor Pat Fountain. “Some will do canned food drives within their units and others will be participating in the city wide effort.”

“We know that when the Scouts call upon them, in whatever fashion, for a food donation folks in this area will respond,” says Fountain. “This problem is too big and too important for us not to all work together and see if we can’t keep people from going hungry.”

For more information about this project or how to help, phone Pat Fountain at pfountain@ecok.edu or 559-5270. For more information about hunger in the USA, see

www.feedingamerica.org.