Local Boy Scouts collected 11,814 pounds of food for the Shalom Center Saturday.

The annual Scouting For Food Drive, which benefits the Shalom Center and is organized by the Gateway District Boy Scouts, will feed hundreds of Kenosha families for months to come.

Scouts left notices about the food drive last week and went back to pick up any donations Saturday.

They then dropped off the donations at the Shalom Center’s food pantry, 8043 Sheridan Road, where it was weighed and sorted.

Overall, around 400 Scouts and volunteers helped out, as six packs and 12 troops participated.

“It’s kind of like Christmas when we have something like this,” said Nancy Kollman, Shalom Center food pantry manager. “When we have regular donations you have an idea of what’s coming in, but when you see this, it’s like ‘wow.’”

Hundreds will benefit

The food will be distributed beginning this week. The Shalom Center said the food will benefit hundreds of families across the area. Some of the food could last months.

Gateway District Scouting for Food chairman Ralph Tollas said he is happy to help.

“It gets people to work together and gets people to understand a lot of people don’t have food to eat,” he said.

Timothy Scheck, of Boy Scout Troop 551, has been helping with the event for years.

He hurried into the back of trucks that came to the center, tossing bags and boxes into bigger boxes that were weighed.

Those boxes were then sorted on a table, and placed into more boxes that will be put away on the shelves by other volunteers.

“I look forward to it. It’s fun to help out and to get to know people,” Scheck said with a smile. “If you don’t help people out, they probably won’t have any food or anything to eat.”

The Shalom Center said this is its second-largest food drive of the year.

Their food pantry distributes perishable and nonperishable groceries to families in need, three days per week.

In addition to a full-time manager, assistant and warehouse manager, 300 volunteers and groups also help by unpacking donation trucks and sorting and stocking shelves, according to the center.

Kollman said the donations came at a good time for the center.

“People depend even more on what we’re able to do for them,” she said. “We could not do what we do if we didn’t have groups like this that volunteer or regular staff that volunteer.”

To learn more about the center, go to www.shalomcenter.org/food-pantry/

Anyone whose donation was not picked up can call Tollas at 262-658-8219.