Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school students and community volunteers will participate in the 27th annual Scouting for Food project in Carroll County over the next two weekends.

On Saturday, scouts and volunteers will provide homes with a front door notice as a reminder that groups will be collecting non-perishable food for the Community Food Pantry housed at St. John's Church basement and the Carroll County Crisis Center during the following weekend. Volunteers return to collect the items on Nov. 23, beginning at 9 a.m., a release said.

The food project helps to feed an average of 150 people each month at the food pantry, treasurer Ruth Baxter said.

"We've had to take cash donations and buy food to have enough to feed area families, so Scouting for Food could not come at a better time," Baxter said in a release. "We are out of everything that fills a basic food basket - from canned soup, to spaghetti sauce to canned meat to cereal and crackers."

Baxter said financial struggles in the community have also caused more people to turn to the food pantry for help.

"The cost of food has risen significantly, and food stamps have been cut for most families by nearly 15 percent," Baxter said in the release. "We have seen many people who didn't need food assistance before require our help this year."

The food collected during the Scouting for Food project accounts for almost 80 percent of the food donations throughout the year. Nearly 17,000 items were donated through the project and the food drive at Carroll County schools last year.

Organizer J. Scott Nab encouraged people to fill grocery sacks with food and to place the bags on their front steps during this year's food collection on Nov. 23.

Items especially needed for the food bank include: soup, canned meat or tuna fish, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce and noodles, dried beans, rice, boxed cereal, canned fruit, and pork and beans.

"This food drive is very important to get us through Christmas and the winter months ahead, which are always hard on the food pantry as many people lose their jobs during the cold months but everyone has to continue to eat," Baxter said in the release.

Philip Morris International has agreed to provide $5,000 to the expense of buying milk, margarine, bread and hamburger for the Christmas baskets again this year.

Additional volunteers also are needed for the annual food drive project. People wishing to help should meet at the St. John's Church parking lot at 9 a.m. on Saturday to distribute reminders. Areas covered by the project include the city of Carrollton, M & T Road, Indian Hills and Sycamore Trace subdivisions and Camellia Court Apartments. The communities of Ghent, Sanders and Worthville also will be covered if there are enough volunteers.

Persons wanting more information about the Scouting for Food project can contact Baxter at (502) 732-6688 or Scott Nab at (502) 732-9208.