Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pre-teen knows 1,000 people by name!

Kenzie Hinson of Goldsboro, North Carolina, was only 11 years old when she learned one in three children and one in five grown-ups in her community don't have enough to eat. It didn't seem fair, so she opened "Make A Difference Food Pantry" in a church and helped a few dozen people once a week. After growing the pantry for a year, she garnered enough support from Food Lion, Panera Bread and CVS to donate groceries to more than 1,000 people each month. And here's the part you won't believe. She knows nearly all of her 1,000 customers by name! Her pantry now occupies 2,400 square feet and her operating costs come mostly from fundraising. "I raise funds at local restaurants like Zaxby's," she said. But this spring her fundraising got a huge boost.

The 12-year-old was selected by Tyson Foods as winner of their Meals That Matter Hero award. It's a great honor, but she was totally shocked (as you can see by her picture) when the company surprised her with a new commercial-sized freezer and a $20,000 donation. "I got so excited when they surprised me with that gift that I couldn't help but cry," she said. She now wants her pantry to be in a 10,000 square foot warehouse and have a garden so it always offers fresh produce. The 1,000 hungry folks she knows by name hope she succeeds.

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