Thank you, Cub Scouts Pack 402.
To help those less fortunate than themselves, this North Natomas group of youngsters donated more than 700 canned goods and other food items to Joey’s Food Locker today for distribution to Natomas families and individuals in need.
Dozens of local residents will benefit from the effort of these kids, no older than 5th grade. They collected the food from their parents, neighbors, several businesses, and from collection boxes placed at most North Natomas schools.
“It feels good because I’m helping other people,” said Xander, 8.
Alex, who is “almost 10,” said that reaching out to Joey’s Food Locker reminds him that his family is fortunate to have food – and that not everybody does, so “it’s very important to help people.”
“Treat others like you want to be treated,” said Ethan, 8, when asked what message he’ll take away.
Donors to Pack 402’s food drive included Sprouts Farmers Market in Natomas and Mondelez LLC, which owns Nabisco in Elk Grove. Westlake Market, in Davis, plans to help as well.
Yating Campbell, mother of a Cub Scout member and a volunteer for Pack 402, said that helping Joey’s Food Locker raises kids’ awareness about hunger, teaches them to give back, and lays a foundation for them to be future leaders.
“They love it,” she said of Pack 402, which has about 100 members. Not only did the Cub Scouts deliver the food personally to Joey’s Food Locker today, they stuck around to help stock the locker’s shelves and to bag groceries for distribution later this month.
Natomas High Special Education teacher Joel Schwieger created the food locker several years ago to serve the community and to help teach independent living skills to his adult students with significant mental or physical challenges.
By helping to operate the food locker, students in his Adult Transition Program learn skills ranging from customer service to checking expiration dates, stocking shelves, bagging groceries, and meeting personal time and service commitments.
This marks the second consecutive year that Cub Scout Pack 402 has organized a food drive for Joey’s Food Locker that produced hundreds of canned and other goods.
Small hands make a big difference, indeed.
Schwieger said he’s deeply grateful.
“This is one of the days I look forward to every year,” he said, smiling.