SOUTHBOROUGH – For the first time since 2019, bags of food and other goods filled the steps of Pilgrim Church’s Fellowship Hall.
And the lobby. And the hall. And the stage.
On Nov. 11, dozens of Scouts and volunteers took part in the annual Scouting for Food drive. They delivered, unpacked and sorted hundreds of donations from residents and local businesses.
“It’s fantastic; it’s amazing,” said Marge Coldwell, a volunteer for the Southborough Food Pantry, which operates out of Pilgrim Church. “We’ve not been getting donations.”
“It’s chaotic, as usual,” said Herb Kolk, another food pantry volunteer who helped organize the sorting of donations.
After not doing this for four years, “There’s a lot of new and relearning things to do,” Kolk said.
Once delivered, the donations were unpacked onto tables and distributed to various marked boxes, such as for pasta, beans, etc. There was even a box for Thanksgiving items such as potatoes and stuffing mix.
“I’ve done it every year, and I love it,” said Kyleigh Tyson, a member of Troop 823.
The pantry itself occupies a small room just off Fellowship Hall.
Kolk said the pantry could always use paper goods, jars of spaghetti sauce, coffee, detergent and macaroni and cheese.
The Southborough Food Pantry is a program of the United Parishes of Southborough. For information, visit www.southboroughfoodpantry.org.
Westborough’s Scouting for Food
At the Forbes Community Center on East Main Street, four Boy Scout troops – including Troop 4 in Shrewsbury, and troops 100 and 382, along with Cub Scout packs 100 and 33 – engaged in the annual Scouting for Food drive.
They picked up and sorted donations from around town; by noon, the drive had collected more than 3,600 pounds of food and other nonperishable items.
“I definitely love where we always get a lot of food [from the town],” said Jonathan Fairbanks of Troop 100.
As part of Kindness Week, members of the Westborough Police Department helped the Scouts with picking up donations.
Staff from the Westborough Food Pantry helped with the sorting, along with extracting items that had expired or were damaged.
The donations come at a critical time, with the holidays around the corner and demand on the rise.
“The need is so great,” said the food pantry’s Polly Thayer.
This year, Thayer said that the pantry is planning Thanksgiving packages for 140 families – nearly double over last year.
To help with the increased demand, the Friends of Westborough Scouting donated $700 in supplies.
She added that 45% of the pantry’s clientele are people aged 60 and older, and that 232 Westborough families come to the pantry on a weekly basis.
“We need everything,” said Thayer.
For information on hours and how to donate, visit westboroughfoodpantry.org.