Drew and Chris were among 8,000 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Tiger Cub Scouts participating in the food drive, the sixth such effort in Bucks County.
"I think we got 217 things of food," Chris said.
The brothers helped deliver the goods that they and fellow scouts collected to the Bucks/Montgomery Center for Human Services in Warrington.
"It looks like they do a lot for such a small place," Chris said.
Gary Hayes, marketing and development director for Bucks County Boy Scouts, explained that the nationwide "Scouting For Food" program was inspired by the Boy Scout slogan "Do a good turn daily." Earlier Boy Scout "good turns" included an organ-donor drive a few years ago, and the rubber tire, metal, and war bond drives during World War II.
"These programs usually last only one or two years, but the problem of hunger has become so pervasive, we've kept this one up," Hayes said.
More than 24 Bucks County pantries and shelters are receiving food through the program this holiday season. The program has been running since Nov. 15 and will continue through Dec. 10.
Chris and Drew's mother, Suzette Trucksess, said the drive benefits not only its recipients, but also the children involved in the project.
"I think it makes them a little more conscious," she said. Her own boys ''think they need a new Nintendo game. They have to learn the difference between those kinds of needs and the real needs of the world."
But the door-to-door Boy Scout drive is not the only part of the "Scouting For Food" program.
More than 80 area businesses and organizations are participating in the program by placing bins for food collection in front of banks, supermarkets, retail stores, schools and offices.
A group of eight Texaco Food Mart & Car Wash service stations offers a free carwash for a single food item placed in the collection bin.
"The carwash normally goes for $2.49. People see that and buy a can of food from the Food Mart," said Pete Donato, market supervisor for four Bucks County Texaco stations.
"The stations that don't have a carwash give away a free ice cream sandwich," he said. "We're not really getting anything out of this. We just want to help the needy."
Last year, area pantries served nearly a half-million meals to the homeless, jobless or underemployed in the county.
Hayes said the biggest problem was storing the food. "The pantries and shelters don't always have room, so we have to time the deliveries," he said.
In the meantime, he said, trucks are donated temporarily to store the food.
The problem of hunger in Bucks County has escalated since the program began, Hayes said.
"The economy was quite strong when we started in '88. We had to (persuade) food banks to accept what we collected. Hunger wasn't thought of then as a Bucks County problem. But people are struggling now. They're having to decide between shoes for their kids or food. Requests from food banks have increased fivefold," he said.
As for the needy's biggest needs, Hayes said that baby formula and diapers, not usually considered a food item, are at the top of the list.
"People don't generally think to give these things, but when people realize the need, some who don't even have children go out and buy some to donate," he said.
Chris said donating is a pretty good idea. "It makes you feel like you're
FOR MORE INFORMATION
* To find out how to donate to the "Scouting For Food" program, call 785-8111.