Small hands can make a giant difference – just ask Joey’s Food Locker.
The community food closet at Natomas High received one of its largest-ever donations today from some of its smallest-ever donors: Cub Scouts Pack 402, consisting of youth no older than 5th grade, contributed 610 canned or packaged food items from a community drive the group organized.
Natomas High teacher Joel Schwieger, whose Adult Transition Program runs Joey’s Food Closet, accepted the small mountain of food items and thanked the Cubs Scouts for reaching out to help struggling families they don’t even know.
“I’m very grateful they thought about giving to Joey’s Food Locker,” said Schwieger, who added that he’s always amazed by the generosity within the Natomas community. Whenever the food locker’s shelves start getting bare, he said, someone always steps up.
This time, it was Pack 402, representing 97 North Natomas youth. Dozens of the Scouts participated in the food drive in one way or another, informing neighbors of the need, collecting food, sorting it at Natomas High today, or helping to stock the food locker’s shelves.
Yating Campbell, who assisted in organizing, said the food drive got a big boost from Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, and NUSD Trustee Lisa Kaplan, who helped promote the effort. Days ago, the Scouts distributed informational flyers to neighbors.
Community service is nothing new for Cub Scouts.
Cub Scout groups participate each year in an annual food drive for families in need. This year’s Pack 402 campaign was particularly memorable because its members can see the food locker, hear about its impact, and know they’re helping their own community, Campbell said.
“The message they’re getting is that there are people out there who need help,” Campbell said of the takeaway for Pack 402. “And that there’s something they can do. By opening their hearts, they can benefit the community.”
Carter, 9, said that helping others makes him feel happy, too.
“I wanted to do this because it’s very nice to help people,” added Jed, 9. “It’s really kind of people to give to each other and to help each other out.”
Alex, 8, said he felt proud of himself.
“I know I’m doing something good,” he said.