Scouts collect food for Valatie Food Pantry

Contributed photoSeveral scouts and family members are pictured with a portion of the food collected for the Scouting For Food initiative.

VALATIE — Valatie Boy Scout Troop 2114 and Valatie/Niverville Cub Scout Pack 2117 delivered a large amount of sorted, donated food to the Valatie Food Pantry Nov. 13, where it will be distributed to people in need in the Ichabod Crane school district.

The Scouting for Food drive is a national initiative to collect food for needy people. Bags are distributed by Boy Scouts, and a week later, Cub Scouts return to pick up bags set out with non-perishable food in them. The food is then sorted by the scouts, and is taken to places where it can be distributed to people that need it. For the communities of Valatie, Niverville, and North Chatham, Boy Scouts from Troop 2114 distributed food bags to homes in Valatie and Niverville on Nov. 6h, where people were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items. Cub Scouts from Pack 2117 then collected bags on Saturday Morning, November 13th, bringing them to the First Presbyterian Church in Valatie, where they were sorted by the Troop 2114 Boy Scouts and Pack 2117 Cub Scouts. The food was then boxed, and delivered to the Valatie Food Pantry. This year, it is estimated that over 900 bags of food were picked up, which is a record for the area.

Boy Scout Troop 2114 Scoutmaster Rich Slovak was happy with the amount of food picked up this year. “The community really supports this program by donating a huge amount of food that the scouts pick up, sort, and deliver to the Valatie Food Pantry, where it helps people right here in our community,” Slovak stated.

Slovak praised the hard work that the scouts put in both handing out and picking up the bags over numerous miles of territory covering the villages of Valatie, North Chatham, and Niverville, and many other areas in the town of Kinderhook, noting that he believes that the community appreciates the effort and responds accordingly with extremely generous donations. Pack 2117 Cubmaster Erin Everett agreed, adding “Scouting for food is a wonderful experience. We are so thankful for the generous donations from the community, and the hard work from not only our Scouts but also their families.”

Pat DiGrigoli, who manages the Valatie Food Pantry, was pleasantly surprised by the amount of food. “Once again The Valatie Food Pantry would like to thank Valatie Boy Scout Troop 2114 for their continued support through their annual food drive. Due to their incredible hard work… and organization…and the continuing generosity of our community we are able to meet the increasing need for food of so many of our neighbors”, she stated.

Boy Scout Troop 2114, whose focus is high-adventure outdoor activities, meets 6-7:30 p.m. every Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church on Church Street in Valatie. Any boy or girl between the age of 11 to 17 can join; the troop has had members from Columbia, Rensselaer and Dutchess counties. The troop has at least one outdoor activity every month, including hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, caving, whitewater rafting, snowshoeing, and other similar activities.

For information, visit the troop Facebook page (Valatie Boy Scout Troop 114), or contact the Scoutmaster at slovakcarpentry@gmail.com or 518-755-2116. For younger boys and girls, information on Cub Scout Pack 2117 can be obtained by contacting Erin Everett at e_krapf@hotmail.com, or 518-859-1510.

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