BRISTOL - Boy Scouts gave area-residents bags for food on Saturday as the first part of their "Scouting for Food" drive.
Some of the donations will go to the Bristol Emergency Food Shelter.
The shelter told News5 the extra food will do even more good this year, as they struggle to feed the homeless.
"As you can see from the empty shelves behind us, things are not as good as they should be," director Jim White told us.
The shelter has gone into reserve funds to buy food because donations have been so low.
White said the "Scouting for Food" drive couldn't come at a better time.
"I want to alert everybody to be sure to look for those bags," he said.
The Boy Scouts went door-to-door, dropping off bags early Saturday morning.
"It's fun to come upon someone who's on their porch in the morning to talk to them and give them a bag," said T.J. Pickel, a senior patrol leader with Troop #423.
"They dealt with the cold pretty good," said troop leader Michael Harman.
Harman told News5 they're asking for non-perishable goods like canned corn and peas, soups, and even baby formula.
"Fill the bags up that we put out in the area today and businesses or people who want to act on their own, bring it here to the cabin," Harman said.
The troop became chartered by the Bristol chapter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) two months ago.
Harman is a member of the DAV and told us it adds extra meaning to the food drive this year.
"With the pantry hurting the way it is and just the organization we're with," he said. "It's Veterans' Day weekend, we're part of a veterans' organization. The Bristol food pantry contributes a lot to feeding our homeless veterans."
Harman challenges the community to donate enough food to fill up the back of a U-Haul moving van.
The Boy Scout Council in this area, which includes Harman's troop, expects to collect 20,000 tons of food next Saturday.
Scout T.J. Pickel told us he's looking forward to it.
"It would feel really good to know that we're keeping the food bank and all the homeless people in the area fed," Pickel said.
The Boy Scouts will pick up the filled bags on Nov. 16 between 8-11 a.m.
You can also bring the food to the Bristol DAV cabin on Carden Hollow Rd or drop it off at Food City stores during the week.
- Local recycling practices both benefit and cost their cities
- Johnson County woman recovering after vicious dog attack
- Law enforcement search for dangerous inmate that escaped from local jail
- Johnson City woman honored by Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians
- Johnson City Cardinals may break 20 year attendance record