Father-daughter Scout team collects donations for holiday food drive

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Father-daughter Scout team collects donations for holiday food drive
Chris Menna and his daughter, Emilia, helped collect thousands of canned goods for this year's holiday food drive.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WPVI) -- Chris Menna has been giving back to his South Philadelphia neighborhood since 1980.

"I've been here continuously since I was a Boy Scout," he said. "And I wanted to give back."

Menna raised a daughter, Emilia, who shared his love for the outdoors, adventuring, and helping the community. She is now a part of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 147, which is led by her father.

"Being able to do the food drive, when you see how many things you've collected, it's like, amazing," she said. "And I love coming to do this every year."

Troop 147 has spent almost 20 years giving to the 6abc Dunkin' Holiday Food Drive for Philabundance. It is the oldest BSA Troop in South Philadelphia, dating back to 1915. This year, however, posed a unique challenge.

Despite social distancing and other complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the troop was still able to collect more than 2,000 canned goods today. And they are just one among many troops in the city working hard to feed those in need.

"You don't know who you help, but you know you're helping somebody," said Angelina Sims, another scout with Troop 147.

Chris Menna hopes that their continued efforts will encourage others to join the Boy Scouts of America.

"There still is a need for traditional youth groups that help turn people into responsible young adults," he said. "It's something that maybe isn't emphasized enough these days as it was in the past."

Chris' daughter hopes to pioneer the future of their troop.

"I try to recruit more girls and keep the legacy going," Emilia said.

Their troop usually walks the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade route to collect more cans from spectators. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 parade will no longer have its famed in-person component.

The parade celebrated its 100th installment last year. However, this year marks a whole century since the first historic city celebration in 1920. Despite the setback, the show must go on. 6abc is planning a day of special programming to enjoy on Thursday, November 26.

To learn more about the 6abc Dunkin' Holiday Food Drive and how you can still donate, click here.

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"I didn't know which way to turn, but God brought me to Sunday Breakfast and I've been blessed ever since."