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Nearly 10,000 pounds of food donated in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ TV) -- It's enough to feed more than 20 families for over a month.

"I'd probably be at home like sleeping," said boy scout Ethan Harsell.

Instead he’s out with his friends collecting food for families in need.

"It's good to help people instead of thinking about yourself and staying in bed," Harsell added.  

He's one of hundreds of boy scouts across the Midwest stocking items like canned foods and cereals on local food pantry shelves.

"You can appreciate the fact that you have the food that you have," said James Votota, a senior patrol leader.  

But they say donations aren't as easy to come by as they once were.

"It's definitely slowing down,” Votova continued. “My dad told me stories about when he was a scout, and every other house or every three houses or so they would get food. And now it's a lot more scarce. I would say 1 in 10 or 1 in 15 actually donate food."

Still, the scouts, local charities and families are happy for the food they get.

"It feels great, you know,” said Rona Mutcha, a local pastor with the Salvation Army. “These kids are already trained to help people by just doing simple life things. They’re helping families who can’t afford to buy food for their children."

A spirit of service that's helping them learn life lessons.

"Teaches them about leadership and teaches them to give back to their community wherever they're gonna be living at," said Brad Olson a director for Boy Scouts of America.  

And it's much more productive than sleeping in.

"I would say to get involved. It doesn't have to be like something big. Something small would help," Harsell said.

The Boy Scouts collected nearly 10,000 pounds of food in Grand Forks.