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Food drives help keep local pantry stocked

Starting this weekend, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in the area will be going door-to-door handing out fliers to encourage them to donate to the local Amen Food Pantry, Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center and to other local food pantries in wes...

Starting this weekend, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in the area will be going door-to-door handing out fliers to encourage them to donate to the local Amen Food Pantry, Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center and to other local food pantries in western North Dakota.

"Dickinson and our surrounding communities strongly support scouting. Scouting for Food is a great example of how our scout packs and troops work to give back to their communities in a service to others," said Michelle Schock, Roughrider District Scouting for Food chair.

About 16 Scout units will be collecting food to fill the shelves of their local pantries. People interested in donating are asked to place items in a paper or plastic bag or in a box and then place it outside of their front door on March 25 by 9 a.m. for pick-up.

Scouts will then be scouring the streets to collect donations to take to the pantry. Last year, more than 6,000 pounds of food was donated to the Amen Food Pantry thanks to the drive.

Susie Kapelovitz, the pantry manager, said that the pantry can give out around 18,000 pounds of food a month to people in the area who are in need, but they also give out basic necessities like dish soap and laundry detergent.

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She said the drives throughout the year, like Scouting for Food, help to keep the shelves stocked during the lull after the holidays.

This year was the first time there was enough food in the pantry in January and February thanks to local elementary schools donating after Christmas, she said.

"Last year we were really struggling to get enough food to hand out to people," she said.

While the Scouts are usually just collecting the cans and dropping them off, Kapelovitz said she is not afraid to put them to work either.

"If they don't have anything else to do for the day, and they hang around and I'll ask them if they have anything else they are going home to do, and if they don't I'll put them to work unpacking bags and putting things on shelves," she said.

The pantry is currently in need of macaroni and cheese, cream of mushroom soup, toothbrushes and toothpaste as well as pork and beans.

"We'll take about anything people want to give us as long as it's not home-canned or home-baked," she said. "Any food we get we are very grateful for."

Anyone interested in donating or obtaining food can visit the pantry that's open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon.

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