By Utah National Parks Council
Mar 16, 2017

Local Scout Speaks at Capitol to Kick-Off Scouting for Food

UNPC Eagle Scout Matt Cahoon is only seventeen, but at the Utah State Capitol yesterday he confronted America’s biggest fear: public speaking. Not only did he give a speech at one of the most prestigious places in Utah, but he did it in conjunction with a speech by the governor of Utah Gary Herbert. 

“I was a little bit nervous, and I do get shaky knees. That’s just something that happens,” said Cahoon laughing. “But, I just pushed through it.”

Both spoke to encourage others to participate in this year’s Scouting for Food event. The Utah National Park Council’s Scouting for Food will take place on Saturday morning– people can place food donations onto their porch for Scouts to collect.

Despite having some fears, according to Cahoon, the experience was worth it because he got to represent Scouting. He believes in the importance of Scouting for Food. He encouraged others to remember to donate to Scouting, and he said he’s been participating in it previously and will continue to help where he can. 

“We can work together to make a change!” he indicated during his speech on Wednesday. 

Review his full speech below:

Scouting for food began in 1986, making this 31 years of collecting food for those facing hunger in Utah. We have Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from all three Utah Scout Councils participating in this year’s Scouting for Food drive. 

Growing up in a “scouting” family,  I have been involved with Scouting for food for as long as I can remember. As a Cub Scout, I delivered bags to houses in my neighborhood. As an Eagle Scout, I now have the opportunity to help pick up bags from food from the porches of the same neighborhood. I have developed a deep sense of gratitude to those who help. I have seen generosity of those who have donated a lot of food…to those who were only able to donate one bag of food.

Did you know that one in five Utah children are unsure where their next meal will come from? This is amazing when you think about it. When I heard about this, I took time to look around me and think about the fact that in a classroom full of my fellow friends and students that at least four or five of these kids either didn’t have breakfast before coming to school or may go to bed hungry because thy don’t have enough food in their homes. This is a sad but true fact. I try to imagine what it would be like to go to bed hungry and know that my brothers and sisters are also hungry. It’s heartbreaking to know that so many of Utah’s children and families go through this every day. Just missing one meal makes me tired and moody; I can’t imagine what it would be like to do every day.

Many children try to hide the fact they are suffering from hunger by acting like everything is okay, saying things like they will eat later, or they’re waiting to get home to eat. You can’t just look at someone and know they are suffering from hunger. By donating to this massive event, you can make a difference. You may be providing the next meal for a friend, a neighbor, a colleague or relative. We can work together to make a change!

When deciding what kinds of food to give, please select non-perishable food that you would feed to your own family. Please select food packaged in cans or plastic bottles, so that we don’t break the containers during our collection. Nutritious food like peanut butter and canned meats and vegetables are great to donate, but don’t forget that kids also like fun foods too! Anything will gladly be accepted.

Last year my fellow Scouts and I collected close to 1.3 million pounds of food from across the state. This provided over 1 million meals to those in need. This year we want to beat that amount. Please help us by putting a bag, or two, of non-perishable food donations on your porch by 9 AM on Saturday. Together, we can make this the best “Scouting for Food” drive ever! 

 

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