Scouts fan out to collect food for the needy

PHILADELPHIA - November 19, 2011

Members of Boy Scout Troop # 334 fanned out across Roxborough Saturday, picking up donations.

Last Saturday, the scouts and hundreds of others across the city, distributed empty shopping bags to their neighbors, and this week, they learned just how generous those neighbors, like Pat Monaghan, could be when it comes to helping the hungry in the community.

"There are so many people out of work, people who wouldn't ordinarily need food from a food bank, but they need it this year. They really do. So we have to do what we can," said Pat Monaghan.

The scouts spent the morning going up and down sidewalks and driveways, collecting the bags of food and loading them into their scoutmasters' cars.

Many had other places they could've been, but knew what they were doing on these streets was so very important.

"Not all of us are as fortunate to have a full meal for the holidays, so it is important to us to provide for them, and it makes us feel good," said Tim Greene.

The boys brought the food to the 5th District police station and then got to work alongside Army National Guardsmen sorting and packing.

Assistant Scoutmaster Mike Van Osten said he is amazed at how much food they are able to collect every year.

"Sometimes you'll find that you go to a house and they won't be giving anything, and you find four or five bags of food," Osten said.

Once the food is all boxed up, the National Guardsmen will load it into big trucks and take it to Philabundance, whose food pantries feed the needy in the Philadelphia and neighboring communities throughout the holidays and beyond.

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