SALT LAKE CITY — Scouting for Food
is a joint undertaking between Utah National Guard (UTNG)
Soldiers and Airmen, Boy Scouts from all three scout
councils, statewide food bank personnel and community
volunteers. It takes months of preparation and statewide
resources to accomplish, but in the end food banks across
the state receive much-needed food to feed Utah’s hungry.
This year the Community Services Council
Warehouse in Salt Lake City collected 603,070 lbs. of food,
the Community Action Warehouse in Provo collected 642,790
lbs. and the Catholic Community Services, Airman’s Attic and
Family Connection in Ogden and Layton, collected 626,540
The UTNG sent more than 115 Soldiers and
Airmen, 25 trucks, three forklifts and opened multiple
armories to support the food drive.
"Even though so many of our Soldiers have
been deployed, its important that we still participate in
community service," said SFC Vicky Dixon, accounting
supervisor, who has been supporting Scouting for Food for 17
In addition to bringing in tons of food for
Utah food bank shelves, the food drive gives an opportunity
for communities to work together.
One of the collateral training benefits of
this operation is to provide the UTNG an opportunity to
exercise a communications system that could be used in a
natural disaster or civil emergency. In the event of an
incident of this type, communications are critical to saving
lives and restoring order. Civilian volunteer radio
operators both those of the Military Affiliate Radio System
and other FCC-licensed amateur radio operators, could be a
vital asset in the event of this type of emergency.
communications control center sets up a mobile command post
outside the Community Services Council Warehouse, while
inside the warehouse amateur radio operators work together
keeping the workflow running smoothly at each drop location.
"This year we did a three-county area,
branching out from the Great Salt Lake Council to include
the Trapper Trails and Utah National Parks Councils in our
communications," said LTC Charles Dressen. "We field tested
the OMNI network where the Guard and State tie into
emergency communications networks. It ran excellently."
With emergency communications capabilities,
the bridge between the military and civilian sectors was
patched together successfully and can be up and running in a
moment’s notice in case of a natural disaster or civil
by Ileen Kennedy
Soldiers, Airmen, Boy Scouts and
volunteers work together at the Salt Lake Community
Services Council Warehouse collecting food