By Ashley Michini, Executive Assistant
When most people turn 4½ years old, they learn how to ride a bike or prepare for kindergarten. Alternatively, Jack, by that age, was already in the process of organizing his first annual Community Food Drive! When Jack’s mom read him a very moving article six years ago, he knew he wanted to help. “Many people in Delaware, including kids, are very hungry and need help,” he described. Fast-forward six years later, this 10 year old has already raised enough food to provide 3,511 meals for individuals in need (not including this year’s donation)!
Since its start, Jack’s Food Drive has been a true family affair. His younger sister Charlotte has helped out since she was able to walk! At 7 years old, Charlotte has learned a lot from her older brother. “I decided to help because it is good to help people who do not have food,” she added. In addition, his mother continually helps him to establish goals for the drive. They both print out fliers to distribute to neighbors, and she provides the transportation for their cause. “My mom does all the driving on pick up day,” Jack explained. The food drive enabled both kids to learn what the Food Bank does first-hand, as well. “I learned how the Food Bank delivers food to people,” Jack pointed out. Similarly, Charlotte’s favorite part of the process was seeing the food get weighed on the Food Bank’s industrial-sized scale.
This year, Jack’s grassroots efforts grew twofold. Three weeks ago, his 10-year-old friend Matt, and Matt’s 12-year-old sister, Bridget jumped on board to further the cause. Jack and Bridget brought the event to their own neighborhood to expand the outreach. “Jack asked for help and I thought it would be a cool thing to do,” Matt commented. Bridget joined in to help her younger brother. Together the pair delivered fliers to neighbors. Jack really appreciated the help. “Matt and Bridget did an incredible job,” he exclaimed!
The team raised 1,616 pounds— a little over three quarters of a ton—of food while learning a variety valuable life lessons in the process. “It’s a really nice thing to know you’re helping others, and it’s not hard—you just have to try,” Jack concluded. For him, the most special part is helping other kids. Jack and Matt both learned to appreciate the generosity of others. “My neighbors donated a lot more food than what I thought I might collect!” Matt declared. He and Bridget also reflected that hunger Delaware still exists. “Even with all the food in the food bank,” Bridget acknowledged, “there’s still a need for more.”
Following the success of their food drive, the group looks forward to having fun with family this Thanksgiving holiday. Together with their cousins, they’ll be participating in their favorite activities, like playing soccer, doing arts and crafts, going on x-box and ice skating. Jack will eat some biscuits— his favorite holiday food, while Bridget and Matt will find comfort in some warm mashed potatoes with gravy. To the families he’s helping, Jack says to “enjoy it!”