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Take Action: A Tasty Food Drive

Apr 16, 2012

A group of teen Girl Scouts from New Jersey were so inspired by their Sow What? Journey that they hosted a food drive with an unusual twist for their Take Action project. Instead of asking for random canned goods and other nonperishable foods, the girls provided friends and neighbors with a recipe for a simple balanced meal and asked them to fill a bag with the necessary ingredients.

High school junior Gennie Tuglesi spearheaded the effort and rallied her Girl Scout sisters to collect and donate the bags to a food pantry in Somerset County, New Jersey. She was inspired by a visit her troop made last fall to Wagner Farm in Warren, New Jersey, where the girls carved pumpkins for the farm’s annual fund drive.

The girls selected recipes from A Man, A Can, A Plan by David Joachim, a cookbook that features 50 simple and healthy meals made from grocery store items. So far the girls’ food drive has produced more than 100 “healthy meals in bags,” and the girls hope to double that to at least 200 soon.

The project has also inspired others to use the same approach. A local church adopted the troops’ method of matching healthy recipes with bags of ingredients for its own food drives.

“I love to toot the girls’ horns,” troop volunteer Karen Kehller says. “I am so very proud of the young women they have become!”