Long Island Cares and the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County have teamed up to create a new badge focused on raising awareness about, and helping to feed, the area’s hungry.
Paule Pachter, the hunger relief agency’s executive director, said the group approached the Girl Scouts with the idea.
“It gets young people involved in the fight against hunger in their local communities,” Pachter said. “And if we are really to make a difference in the lives of those children who are hungry, then who better to be involved than children themselves.”
The new badge, the “Harry Chapin Hunger Activist Patch,” has a guitar as its focal point, memorializing Long Island Care’s founder, Chapin, who was a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter.
The badge will be unveiled today at a ceremony at Long Island Cares in Hauppauge.
Christine Terzella, the Suffolk Girl Scouts director of public relations, said many don’t realize how many suffer from hunger.
“You don’t really think it is that close to home, but it is,” Terzella said. “That’s why we have to get out there and raise some awareness.”
A Scout can earn the badge by doing various activities, including hosting a food drive, volunteering at a local food pantry, writing an essay about hunger in her community and sorting food at the food bank.
The county’s Girl Scout chapter serves 40,000 girls and has more than 300 badges.
Terzella said many of the Scouts already have participated in food drives and volunteered at their local pantries.
“So it really ties in with what the girls are already out there doing,” she said.