It’s expected over 50 scouts and girl guides will be making the short trek from the Penticton Safeway store to the Salvation Army food bank the morning of March 10.
This is the third annual Hike for Hunger event and members of the public are being asked to help out by dropping off non-perishable food items in the specially marked bins at Safeway between now and then.
“On that day, at 11 o’clock, we have all the kids and leaders go down to Safeway and we fill up our backpacks and we walk along Main Street to the food bank and drop it off,” said Jacinda Pownall, Second Penticton Scouts group commissioner. “The Salvation Army has been really good to us, a lot of times they’ll give the kids a little bit of a snack and there’s always cars honking and the kids are waving back, they have quite a good time doing it.
“We also try to teach the children about charitable giving. I mean some of our kids, I wouldn’t be surprised that they weren’t on the receiving end of these gifts.”
Ashton Jones, a leader with the Second Penticton Cubs and a member of the Rovers, is one of those people who particularly enjoys the event.
“It’s important for the kids because it gives them a chance to see some of the issues in our community, it gives them a way to sort feel like they’re helping out and helping to make a difference,” said Jones who has had friends who needed help in the past. “For some of those people, it could be the difference between, sometimes even life or death to put food on the table to feed your family and not go hungry for a night.
“That’s kind one of the reasons why I went into scouting, so I could help make a difference in my community and to show people there are issues around and we need to help fix them and we need to get out and help do it.”
She added that it is also fun for the participants.
“Seeing the kids’ faces, getting their picture in the paper and just being out there with the flags and realizing people can see what they’re doing, it’s a great experience,” she said.
Spencer Bourke is another scouting member who has helped with the previous hikes.
“It really gives you a sense of pride being able to help out in your community by doing something to help those who are less fortunate. I think it makes kids and youth glad they are able to contribute,” he said.
Pownall added the need is especially great at this time of year because people often receive their electrical bills and may not have enough money for groceries.
“It was something our organization did in Penticton about 10 or 15 years ago and then it stopped for whatever reason. We just thought we would bring it back because there is definitely a need this day and age, as I’m sure there always has been,” said Pownall. “We’re just trying to make it better than it was, and get more food to help hungry people.”