Ten Girl Scouts in Burlington have earned the Bronze Award, the highest award Girl Scouts in grades 4-5 can achieve, for building a Free Little Pantry to provide their community members with a place to get food without worry of embarrassment or needing to meet qualifications.

Maryn Anthony, Meadow Bennett, Elizabeth Carruthers, Daelyn Johnson, Ony’Khah Johnson, Ellie McCollum, Sydney Mickey, Brynnlee Moss, Makenzie Pugliese, and Bonnie Rawls of Troop 2376 recently won the honor.

“Giving back to my community is very important to me. It makes me so happy that we can help provide food to people who don’t have the money to buy it,” Makenzie Pugliese said in a Monday release from Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

The girls talked with their community to figure out what obstacles they sometimes face when asking for food assistance and then worked together to brainstorm solutions; finally presenting their plans to the Messiah Lutheran Church Property Board.

“Many of our girls had a fear of public speaking when it came time to talk to our community and do our proposal with the Messiah Lutheran Church Property Board, each girl faced their fears to achieve a goal,” Brittney Pugliese, Troop Leader, said. The pantry is officially installed and will benefit the community for years to come.

The Bronze Award is the highest achievement Girl Scout Juniors in grades 4-5 can earn, available to girls in elementary school who create sustainable change on a community or world issue. Bronze Award Girl Scouts identify a community issue, create a team, develop a plan, and take action. As they transform their world, Bronze Award Girl Scouts gain tangible skills and prove they are the leaders our community and world needs.

Through the Girl Scout Program, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, create lasting relationships, and find dynamic solutions to social issues — all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day and empower themselves for life, according to the organization.

To join or volunteer, visit www.GirlScoutsToday.org.