Scouts, community team up for food bank


Hugh McMillan, KP News

He will deny this but Bill Macaras is the founding father of scouting on the Key Peninsula in the last 10 or so years. Scouting had all but dried up before he came on the scene. Now it’s flourishing. It’s not that he didn’t get a whole lot of help from a wonderful bunch of dedicated Scouting enthusiasts — too many to list here — but he’s the guy who lit the fire when he formed Troop 220.

On a recent November weekend at the Key Peninsula Community Services/Food Bank, at first there was but one scout to be seen, Brandon Miller of Cub Scout Pack 220 with his mom, Tami, and sister Brittani. They were moving some food contributions into the KPCS they’d picked up earlier and were waiting for the main scout force to appear.

They were joined by Kristen Herold and her two daughters, Evergreen Elementary School kindergarten student Kennedy and second grader Lauren, and an Explorer SUV stacked wall to wall, floor to ceiling with food they’d independently gathered for the cause.

The cause? The shelves of the food bank were all but bare. Macaras said, “Thirteen scouts from 220’s Cub Pack, Scout Troop, and Venture Crew spent three hours on Saturday deliv-nity, and spent more than four hours going door to door on Sunday picking up contributed food items. More than 2,300 of them!” They delivered them all to the KPCS food bank.

Kristen Herold said the food drive began simply. “I was talking with the president of Evergreen’s PTA, Kari Wilkinson, about how to help people in the Tacoma area with food, coats, and blankets. Kari told me what a need there was in our own community...  I made a trip down to the food bank in Home, where I met Cristi Watson (KPCS executive director), who gave me a tour of the food bank. It brought tears to my eyes.”

Watson told her that in September, the food bank “more than doubled the families that were in need, and came extremely close to doubling yet again in October.”

“I too am on Evergreen’s PTA,” said Herold, “and I brought it to the members of the PTA that people in our community are going hungry. I was granted money to do shopping for the food bank with the PTA’s help. That got the ball rolling. I was personally able to see the shelves going from bare to filling, but knowing full well that the food bought by the PTA would not last very long, there was something more that needed to be done.”

Herold went to Peninsula Market and talked with the manager, Kip Bonds.

“He was more than willing to allow me, Cristi and volunteers to collect food at Peninsula Market. So I went home and put together fliers, got some volunteers, Molly Meyers, Kathy and Mike Herold, Jennifer Buday, and of course our children Isabelle, Olivia, Lauren, and Kennedy,” she said. “I spoke of the food drive quite frequently to people I came across. The people on the peninsula were receptive, and they gave and gave and gave. The food filled my Explorer from bottom to top, and there were people who didn’t have a lot of time to shop so they gave cash donations.

Macaras, when thanked for the great job he’d done, almost annoyed, retorted, “The kids did it. Not I. These kids have given up more than seven hours over a Saturday and Sunday. That’s their weekend! They’re the ones who deserve the thanks.”

Herold said she was previously unaware of the number of people needing a helping hand. “The generosity is so appreciated. Together our community will and has made changes. Everyone involved should be proud of themselves,” she said.

Pack 220, Troop 220 and Crew 220 would like to thank the citizens of the Key Peninsula for their very generous donations, helping to make this a very successful food drive for our local food bank.