Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Hunger Heroes" earn Bronze Award

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Junior can earn. This award recognizes the girls’ leadership and planning skills that are required to follow through with a project that makes a positive difference in their community.

Girl Scout Troop 54219 of West Jefferson Hills became “Hunger Heroes” to earn this prestigious award. The girls decided to make our world a better place by making a difference in the lives of our neighbors who have a need to use the Cloverleaf Food Pantry.

Members of this troop include; Piper Roth, Elizabeth Snyder, Casey Sullivan, Emily Sullivan, Veronica Vergallito and Harmony Ziccardi.

Before the girls decided on a project plan they participated in activities that their leader, Darcy Vergallito, created called "Hunger 101."

The first activity was the “Food for a Week” challenge. The girls read about a fictitious family’s personal and financial situation. Then they had to figure out how much money their families had per month to spend on food, then determine a weekly food budget. Finally they had to figure out a menu and shopping list that fit that week's budget. If they did not have enough money in their budget, (which, by design, they all did not) they were shown that they could go to the Food Pantry and select items there to help make ends meet and give them enough food for that week.

Another "Hunger 101" activity was called "Food Pantry Banquet." The girls brought canned goods to the meeting not knowing that they would be cooking their own dinner. The girls created a full meal using only foods that would be available at a typical food pantry. Their menu included chicken pot pie, scalloped corn and for dessert a cinnamon crunch cake! The girls were pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the dishes!

Next the girls took a tour of the Cloverleaf Food Pantry to see how it operates. On their tour they learned that there are several items that the Food Pantry consistently needs. That sparked the girls to host their "Most Wanted Items Food Drive."

The girls hosted the week-long food drive at the South Hills IGA from Monday, May 11 through Sunday, May 17. The girls had a food donation box located at the front cash registers for customers to donate these much needed items. The drive was a huge success; the girls collected over 10 overflowing bags of grocery items!

The girls not only personally brought in their donations, they also volunteered their time and worked the food pantry alongside the regular volunteers over the summer. The girls helped by sorting the items and stocking them on their shelves.

The final step for the girls to earn their Bronze Award is to make this project sustainable. The girls want to be sure that the Cloverleaf Food Pantry will continue to receive support and help from local Girl Scouts. 

Girl Scout Troop 54219 has challenged all Junior Girl Scout troops of West Jefferson Hills to also become “Hunger Heroes." 

They would like the troops to agree to do something to help the Cloverleaf Food Pantry. What they decide to do is up to the individual troops but the Scouts of 54219 know that they will love how it feels to be a “Hunger Hero,” too!

Earning the Bronze Award is something that each girl from Girl Scout Troop 50428 will never forget.