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Boy Scouts to hold annual food drive on April 28

The Westmoreland-Fayette Council, Boy Scouts of America, wants help in the fight against hunger in the two-county region with its annual food drive to benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank and the Fayette County Community Action Food Bank.

The annual food drive will be held April 28. Thousands of Scouts will place door hangers encouraging families to contribute toward the goal of 85,000 pounds. This year, Nationwide Insurance has joined the effort as a sponsor and partner. For households or businesses that do not receive a hanger on their door, Nationwide agencies will serve as a collection point throughout the two counties through April. Details for locations in the area can be found at the United Way of Westmoreland County's website, www.unitedway4u.org, and clicking on the Scouting for Food image.

Jarrod Meeder of Greensburg is chairman of the food drive. Scouting for Food is a community effort, with the Boy Scouts teaming with UPS, United Way of Westmoreland County, United Way of South Fayette, the two local food banks in each of those counties, churches, service clubs, businesses and schools to collect food for the needy.

Scouting for Food is one of the most altruistic services performed by the Boy Scouts. It was started in 1988 to address one of four pressing "national unacceptable situations" identified by the organization.

Scouting for Food is one of the largest food-collection drives of the year.

"During these tough economic times, basic needs like food are critical to many, many families in our area, and we see this as an important role our Scouts can play in supporting the community," said Jack Waite of the Westmoreland-Fayette Council.

Collected food is redistributed locally via food banks, food pantries and similar organizations; in the Fay-West area, these include the Westmoreland County Food Bank and Fayette County Community Action Food Bank.

Each month in the two counties, more than 10,000 families are hungry and in need of help. Those families include about 7,000 children.

"No child should ever feel the agony of hunger," Waite said. "The means to an end begins with us."

For more information, in Westmoreland County, call Louise Wilhelm at 724-468-8660, ext. 13, or visit www.westmorelandfoodbank.org; in Fayette County, call Jamie Brink at 724-437-6050, ext. 1264, or visit www.fccaa.org.

For more information about the council, call the Scout Service Center in Greensburg at 724-837-1630.

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