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Scouts, volunteers collect a ton of food

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POLSON — A mountain of canned goods and non-perishable items, more than a ton of food appeared at the Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry, all thanks to the Boy Scout Troop 1945 from the Church of Latter Day Saints. 

On Dec. 3, Scout Master Tara Carvey and scouts left plastic grocery bags wishing homeowners a Merry Christmas, asking for the non-perishable food and coat donations on Dec. 4 and 5. If people wished, they could just hang their donations on their doorknob for the Scouts to collect 

The Polson Fire Department, the Polson Police Department, the City of Polson Street Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office helped with the project.

“I can’t even say enough about them,” Carvey said, adding she was humbled and thankful.

On Dec. 4 and 5, Carvey divided the city into quadrants and sent out teams of scouts, parents and volunteers, accompanied by a Polson Fire Department truck, Polson Police Department vehicles and a trailer with Santa Claus to collect the food. Santa had candy canes for all the children.

Karen Sargeant drove a Polson Fire truck one night and loved it. 

“It was amazing,” Carvey said. ”The fire department had their flashing lights on, with a beep beep of their horns to announce our presence.”

Polson businesses helped out, too. Walmart and Safeway donated candy canes and Stageline Pizza, the Cove Deli and Pizza and Pizza Hut sent pizzas so Carvey could feed the volunteers, most of whom came right after work. 

“The Polson community is so generous,” Carvey said, noting all the volunteer time and the food donations, turkeys and coats, some of them brand new with the tags still on them. 

Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry Director Bryan River said, “It’s the biggest food drive ever.” 

When River first weighed the food, there were 2,419 pounds, but since then at least 10 donation bags have come into the food pantry. He estimated the Boy Scout drive brought in 2,500 pounds of food. 

“It’s a big help,” River said, adding that a food drive always brings a variety of foods, such as yams, cranberries and canned pumpkin to fill in Christmas baskets. 

The extra ton of food comes at a good time, River said, since December is a big month, both for the amount of people coming in and the amount of food going out. Loaves and Fish probably will provide food for more than 300 families this month. In addition to normal groceries, food bank clients receive a Christmas basket, with a turkey and items for a holiday dinner.

The pantry suffered a setback when 840 pounds of peanut butter had to go to the dump since it was possibly contaminated.

Loaves and Fish has enough peanut butter now, but the pantry is short of cold cereal and always can use protein, particularly turkeys. Of course, the pantry can also use cash donations.

Loaves and Fish opens its doors Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. Donations may be delivered to the pantry at 904 First Street E. or mailed to the same address.


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