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Girl Scouts make a dent in summer hunger

Troop 77904 is hosting a food drive to ensure children have lunch and snack throughout the summer
Top: Harper Wilson, Corinne Chenault, Phoebe King, Nina Mancusi, Rose Sample, Maible Matranga Bottom: Ava James, Claudia Koditek, Freya Maenpaa

During the school year, girls from Girl Scout Troop 77904 watched their classmates struggle with food insecurity. As the end of the school year approached, these girls wondered what life might be like for those classmates without school meals. On Saturday, those girls are organizing a food drive to help those who might need it.

Maible Matranga, Ava James and Claudia Koditek are three of the eight girls who make up Girl Scout Troop 77904 in Longmont. All eight girls have been in the same troop since Kindergarten. When they formed the troop, the girls selected a “hometown hero,” which is a community organization to support. Although presented with several choices, they chose the OUR Center and have donated cookies and organized other projects over the last six years. 

“They help so many people that need help,” Koditek said. 

This year, the girls are working to earn the Bronze Award — the highest award Junior Girl Scouts can achieve. The Bronze Award requires that the girls create a project that will impact the community and be long-lasting. James said that she hopes other Girl Scout troops join in to make the event bigger.

Together the girls brainstormed several ideas that they could pursue and calculated what could be done in a reasonable amount of time and was achievable. One idea stood out above all — to create a summer food drive to support their fellow students.

Matranga said she pays attention to other students at her school during lunch. She has noticed that some students are able to get lunch for free while others struggle to pay. This made her consider whether or not those classmates had enough to eat over the summer. 

Her fellow troop members agreed that it was important and set out to learn more. They contacted the OUR Center and learned that there is a dip in donations over the summer because people focus on summer fun. In the winter, donations rise because people focus on giving, James said. 

“We saw that a lot of families don’t get what they need during the summer, and the OUR Center doesn’t get a lot of donations during the summer, and a lot of families that depend on the OUR Center can’t get what they need,” Matranga said.

To make the project more impactful, Koditek suggested that the troop create videos about food insecurity and provide educational links on the troop’s website. Each girl was able to contribute ideas and played a big role in getting the project organized. 

Troop 77904 passed out over 2,000 door fliers throughout Longmont. On Saturday, their parents will drive them around to pick up nonperishable food items that can be used as snacks and lunches for school-aged children. All the food will then be delivered to the OUR Center for families to take home with them. Other members of the troop will also be at the OUR Center for donations dropped off that day.

Those who received a door hanger can leave donations outside. For those who would like to donate and did not receive a flyer can email the troop at [email protected] for a pick-up anywhere in Longmont. 

“... During the summer you play all day and most of us get hungry and want a snack and just go get it. But imagine the people who have played all day and they go look for a snack but there is no food there, so they can’t get a snack,” James said.