PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The driveway of one North Hills home is a busy place each April and May.
Boy Scout Dakota Chirdon fills the last few boxes of food for the North Hills Food Bank and Jubilee Kitchen in the Hill District. The Eagle Scout collected more than 2,000 items for this year’s “Scouting for Food” drive.
“Every weekend in the month of April we go out and we start collecting food,” he says, entering a game room piled floor to ceiling with boxes. “This is 111 cases of food, and this is what I’ve collected this year.”
He has collected more than 11,000 food items since he began as a Cub Scout, nine years ago. At first, he went door-to-door with a little red wagon. It’s a bit more streamlined these days.
“We take and put a bag on each door,” he says, “allowing the people to go to their pantry or go out to the local supermarket and pick items. Then we come back the next Saturday and collect them.”
Dakota’s mother is Seneca district coordinator for “Scouting for Food.” But that’s not why her son stops at a thousand houses each year.
“I lost my father at a young age, and my mom was on her own to raise three children, and there were no food banks. And I said there were plenty of nights that I went to bed hungry.”
“That really motivated me to do my best,” says her son. “And that’s where we are right now.”
Dakota collects more food than the rest of his troop combined. But he says he feels no pressure to top last year’s output.
“It’s not about numbers. It’s about going out there to do the best you can to help people.”