St. Louis Scouting for Food drive is changing due to COVID-19: Here’s how to donate virtually


Caregiver Denise Phelps helps her 85-year-old uncle, William Speck, with groceries obtained from Feed My People in Lemay, Mo., on April 24, 2020.

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

The annual Scouting for Food drive in St. Louis is going virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a stay-at-home advisory issued by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page.

The annual food collection provides hundreds of thousands of meals for the St. Louis Area Foodbank, which is asking people to still contribute even if they won’t have the blue bag delivered to their door. In a typical year, the one-day drive is the largest food drive in the country. It was set to happen Saturday, Nov. 21, with residents filling blue bags that Scouts would have distributed Saturday, Nov. 14.

To donate and continue the tradition in a new way, text SCOUTFOOD to 91999. With every $25, the food bank can provide 100 meals.

The food bank is also encouraging members of the public to set up individual food drives on its website.

Meredith Knopp, president and CEO of the St. Louis Area Foodbank, said that the food bank has increased its number of meals provided this year to 5 million per month, up from 3 million a month before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year we have been distributing an exorbitant amount of food because of COVID-19,” Knopp said in a video to promote Scouting for Food. “We’re so thankful to everyone that has stepped up to help us during this pandemic, but we’re going to ask you to step up one more time.”

Although the Scouts will not be participating in the larger food drive, individual food drives can still be set up.

“We’re looking for canned fruits, vegetables, protein, soups, pastas, cereals — anything that’s going to make a healthy and nutritious meal for our neighbors in need this holiday evening,” Knopp said. “We’re looking to make Thanksgiving and the holidays wonderful for everyone.”