IDAHO FALLS, Idaho | Oct. 21, 2014 | Twenty-five years ago, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot held a brief meeting in his office. As the meeting wrapped up with a handshake, Frank made a promise—one that he’s continued to honor.
Since that moment, Melaleuca has fully sponsored an important and productive food drive in Southeast Idaho and Western Wyoming. The results have been fruitful. The partnership has helped hundreds of thousands of families in need. It’s raised 2,350 tons of food. And its brought more than 7.5 million nonperishable items into local food banks.
These donations stock the shelves of several non-profit organizations and food banks throughout the region. Over the next few months, they will warehouse and distribute the food to families who are down on their luck.
Melaleuca has donated the finances, advertising and promotional materials to make the annual Scouting for Food drive a success. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA)’s Grand Teton District facilitates this large-scale service project. They estimate that more than 10,000 youth and adult leaders volunteer 32,000 hours to the cause each year.
“Hunger is a problem we can do something about by working together,” said Frank. “This meaningful project plays a role in helping hungry children and providing nutrition to the disabled, the elderly, the homeless and the unemployed. It’s motivating to watch the community’s tremendous response to this event.”
Celebrating Melaleuca’s silver anniversary with this sponsorship, Frank visited the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership warehouse on Saturday and thanked a few of the Boy Scouts who were sorting packaged boxes and loading pallets of food. He was impressed by their willingness to follow the Scout slogan to “do a good turn daily.”
Additionally, he was reminded how Scouting for Food provides a benefit to the participating Boy Scouts. Several boys mentioned this yearly service stands out in their minds because it lifts their spirits and gives them a feeling like they are really helping those in need. Although they had to get up early on a Saturday morning, they said they were pleased to serve.
These Scouts were obviously quite busy. This year’s event raised 390,583 canned items.
“Melaleuca has provided an outstanding example of community service,” said Clarke Farrer, Scout executive of the BSA’s Grand Teton Council. “Their sponsorship has allowed Scouting for Food to make a difference in many lives. Not only does it fill food pantries throughout the area, but it also provides valuable life lessons such as helping people at all times and giving back to others.”