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Open your pantry to help hungry

Take a minute and look in your pantry. More than likely, it's brimming with food. Take another moment and consider your good fortune. Now, think for a moment about Utahns who experience hunger on a daily basis.

Think about it when a Boy Scout delivers to your home this week a plastic grocery bag marked "Scouting for Food." Take it to your pantry and fill it up with soup, beef stew, fish, meats, chili, peanut butter, fruits and vegetables. Leave it on your porch for pick up on the morning of Saturday, March 24.

What for most families is a small gesture is a huge dividend for the Utah Food Bank. The food bank relies heavily on the Scouting for Food drive, which has traditionally supplied about half of its staple, high-protein supplies. It's important for Utahns to support this cause any way they can.

The food bank does not distribute directly to needy individuals and families. Rather, food is distributed by the food bank to more than 200 agencies and programs throughout Utah.

While unemployment has been low and most Utahns have benefited from the nation's robust economy, many Utahns struggle to make ends meet. For them, food pantries help them stretch their already tight budgets or tide them over until they no longer need assistance.

Imagine the heartbreak of volunteers who must turn away needy people when the shelves are bare. Imagine the despair of a family that turns to a pantry for help and it has little or nothing to offer. In these prosperous times, this shouldn't happen.

Utahns can help ensure that people in their own communities don't go hungry by keeping an eye out for the "Scouting for Food" bag, filling it and leaving it on the doorstep Saturday morning.