Updated: 03/19/2014 7:24 PM
Created: 03/19/2014 4:52 PM KAALtv.com
By: Dan Conradt
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It’s as much a part of springtime as melting snowbanks and the return of robins.
And this weekend, hundreds of young people around our regional will be going door-to-door for a good cause.
"We really stress teaching values, teaching community service, helping each other, being good to your neighbor," said Boy Scout leader Kevin Maxa.
It’s further proof that there's more to scouting than learning to pitch a tent or build a campfire.
"We ask people to please fill the bag with non-perishable food items," Kevin Maxa explained.
It’s called Scouting For Food
"The scouts, both girls and boys, will be going out in the area and picking up any food donations you leave outside your door,” said Lori Espe at the Austin Salvation Army Food Shelf
"Throughout southeastern Minnesota we collect around 20,000 pounds of food,” scout leader Kevin Maxa told us.
The food all stays local because the NEED is local.
“When I really noticed the food shelf was increasing was back in 2005, and back then we were doing between 60 and 80 food orders a month. There's weeks we do 60 to 80," the Salvation Army’s Lori Espe said.
“You never know how close a neighbor you could be helping," added scout leader Kevin Maxa.
“We have seniors, young people, people who have run into emergencies," Lori Espe told us.
“This is a big boost during the march food share month," Kevin Maxa said.
“We report it, and then we're given a grant. it's not a dollar for dollar, pound for pound match, but usually when we receive a grant it's between 5 and 700 dollars, which is really needed to try to buy food when things are getting really low," said food shelf coordinator Lori Espe.
So sometime before nine o'clock Saturday morning, take the scouting for food bag that came with your local shopper ... or any other kind of bag ... sort through the pantry ...
"Look for the food that is still good, might be liked by other people and you realize you don't need any more," Lori Espe said ... and leave it on your front step for the scouts to pick up.
"We even help the Salvation Army put the food away, so they get to see the huge room and how we fill those shelves," scout leader Kevin Maxa said.
And don't forget, ABC 6 is again partnering with Channel One food bank -- collecting non-perishable food items in our Austin and Rochester studios.
You can also support FoodShare month by donating to your local food shelf.