FORT MILL --
The instructions for all those empty bags showing up on York County doorsteps are pretty simple. Just fill them, and wait.
Boy Scouts throughout the Upstate are collecting food and other items for distribution to local assistance groups like, in this area, Fort Mill Care Center and Clover Area Assistance Center.
The York District and Indian Land Scouts began their drive Nov. 3. Theyre asking residents to fill the paper bags they passed out with non-perishable food, personal hygiene items, paper products, baby food and diapers. Also collected will be new or gently used coats. Scouts will return Nov. 10 to collect the bags.
Collected items will benefit local food banks, shelters and soup kitchens. Last year the group collected more than 64,000 pounds of food.
This year the need is even greater, so anything you can do is greatly appreciated, said Maria Overcash, chairperson for the York District.
Troop 365 of All Saints Catholic Church is one of several groups in the Lake Wylie and Clover areas participating. Jason and Jennifer Floyd are Scoutmaster and troop committee chair, respectively.
We have 1,200 bags to put out, Jennifer said on Friday. We have 10 boys.
The plan was to place bags starting at 1 p.m. Sunday and collect them beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Last year the troop had eight Scouts and collected more than 3,000 pounds of food. All of whats collected this year will go to Clover Area Assistance Center.
Everything we collect here stays here, Jennifer Floyd said.
Hunter McClain and his buddies passed out bags in Fort Mill neighborhoods Saturday near where their Troop 108 meets at Unity Presbyterian Church. The annual food collection is a worthwhile event, he said, in that it makes a difference locally.
This is important because it helps people that need the food, McClain said.
Britt Helms, assistant Scoutmaster, said the troop planned to cover the Whiteville Park and Springfield areas. Each local troop had areas assigned and, despite there being a similar Girl Scout collection prior and other food drives this time of year, response in always strong.
Even with that, thousands of pounds of food come in for the care center, Helms said.
Each bag set out through the county has instructions for filling and having ready for pickup. For residents who dont get a bag or otherwise miss the opportunity, there are several business locations partnering.
Items can be dropped off through November at Digbys Pizza in Fort Mill, Allison Loves Fine Jewelry and Toyota of Rock Hill in Rock Hill and Subway restaurants in Lake Wylie and Clover, excluding the one in Lake Wylies Walmart.
We try to make it as easy as possible to be able to participate, Helms said.