TAMPA, Fla. – Scouts, their leaders, and family members will participate in a 40-mile hike on Saturday, Feb. 4, to bring awareness of the plight of hungry families in our community while also assisting with restocking local food pantries.
Hikers will leave the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Service Center, 13228 N. Central Ave. in Tampa at 6 a.m. and are expected to reach Munn Park, 210 E. Main St., in Downtown Lakeland 12 to 14 hours later.
Participants can hike as short or long as they want and join in at any point. Most of the route has sidewalks. There will be a chase vehicle and truck to gather food up along the way and provide support to the hikers.
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The hike is part of the Boy Scout’s national Scouting for Food annual campaign to collect food for local food pantries. Every scout, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and Venture or Varsity Scouts, is encouraged to help in this very worthwhile service project.
Christopher Perry, the Tampa Bay area council Scouting for Food chairman, organized the hike.
Perry said, “I wanted to do something outrageous to shine light on the need to restock the area local food panties. I was thinking like Forest Gump. He started to run and started a movement. And people followed.”
The chairman said that in West Central Florida one in six children go hungry; one in 10 people don’t have food; and 1.6 million people were “food insecure” in 2022.
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“We want to stock the ‘local’ food pantries because after the holidays, they run very low on their supplies,” he said.
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