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'They deserve to be fed'

Boy Scout Tyler Kupzak prepares for his Eagle Scout project, the first annual Somerset Summer Food Drive supporting the Somerset Area Food Pantry. The food drive will be July 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Royal Credit Union parking lot in Somerset.

During the summer months, the Somerset food shelf finds its shelves rather bare. Boy Scout Tyler Kupczak is organizing a summer food drive to support the Somerset Area Food Pantry during the months it has the most need, and earning Eagle Scout status along the way.

The event will be Saturday, July 21, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside of the Royal Credit Union (115 Parent St.) in Somerset. Kupczak's goal is to collect 6,000 pounds of non-perishable food and paper products and $2,000 in monetary donations.

"I'd like to do everything that I can to allow everybody to have a meal on the table every night," Kupczak said.

Kupczak said he hopes to make this project an annual event, although his Boy Scout Troop (144) will be leading the effort collaboratively next year. Kupczak is leading the event this year, because it is his Eagle Scout project.

Kupczak said he chose to focus his Eagle Scout project on supporting the Somerset Area Food Pantry when he learned that the food pantry runs out of food and money during the summer.

"I didn't realize that, in the summertime, the food pantry actually went dry." Kupczak said. "I didn't know that it ever ran out."

Kupczak said because school is out of session contributes to the loss of support for the food pantry, which relies heavily on school food drives.

The food pantry needs around 500 pounds of food each week to meet demand. During the school year school donations bring in 200 to 600 pounds per drive. But during the summer that support drops off.

The food drive is a requirement for Kupczak to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Boy Scout can attain. Kupczak planned and organized the project himself, with help from his Boy Scout troop. Kupczak said it is his responsibility to plan the project and supervise its operation.

"I hope we get a lot of people to support the food drive on July 21," Kupczak said. "I feel like everybody deserves to have a meal or three every day. They deserve to be fed. So I really want to make sure that happens."

People who would like to donate but are not able to attend the food drive can request a donation pickup at

People who want to make a monetary donation can make checks out to "Somerset Food Drive." Donations can be made to the Somerset Food Drive account at RCU in Somerset at any time. All donations will go to help the Somerset Area Food Pantry.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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