Food is stacked high and deep at Utah Food Bank Services, thanks to the Great Salt Lake Council's "Scouting for Food" drive.

More than a half million pounds — 533,000 — has been sorted and stored at the food bank in Salt Lake on 500 pallets stacked three pallets high.

And that's just a one-day total.

The annual spring food drives by the Boy Scouts restock the shelves for pantries statewide which at this time of year are running out of donations made during the holidays.

The Scouting For Food drive this past Saturday, the largest single-day food drive of the year, lived up to its name, said food bank spokeswoman Jessica Pugh. Food donations are still coming in and the grand total from each of Utah's three Boy Scout Councils will be announced April 14, she said.

Cub Scouts delivered Scouting for Food bags to every Utah house during the week of March 24. Donations were placed on the doorstep this past Saturday and Boy Scouts went door-to-door to pick them up.

The donations will ultimately be delivered to drop-off points and local emergency food pantries and food assistance agencies throughout the state.

Yellow Transportation, Xtra Lease and the Utah National Guard are helping transport the donations from drop-off points to the emergency food network.

Smith's Food and Drug, a food drive sponsor, is helping make the annual event become more "green." Bags returned from the drive will be recycled into new grocery bags through Smith's Bag 2 Bag recycling program.

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. declared March 28 "Scouting for Food Day."

Boy Scouts were thanked for their efforts Wednesday evening with an open house, goodies and firsthand look at how the donations are distributed to the 240 outlets that are part of the food bank's statewide network.

Last year, the drive generated approximately a million pounds of food for Utah's emergency food network. Nearly 500,000 pounds came from the Great Salt Lake Council alone.

During the past year, Utah Food Bank Services distributed 18 million pounds of food, or the equivalent of over 9 million meals, filling more than 1.6 million requests for emergency food assistance from families and individuals in need.

The service operates 17 Kids Cafe sites, 2-1-1 Information & Referral as well as programs that provide services to low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

For more information about Utah Food Bank Services call 801- 978-2452 or visit

E-mail: [email protected]