This 7-Year-Old Has Collected Over 34K Pounds of Food For Hungry Kids
When four-year-old Kaden Newtown of Rockwall, Texas told his mom, Diane, 34, a dental hygienist, that he wanted to start a company to “feed the poor,” she didn't think anything of it. Assuming he had heard something about feeding hungry kids at the church the family is active in, she helped Kaden pick up some food items from their house and donated them to a local food pantry, thinking that would be the end of it.
Little did she realize, it was just the beginning. Diane, who notes that her son is very empathic and attuned to the needs of others, saw a need for more kid-friendly foods in food pantries, so that's exactly what they sought out to make happen. It took some time, but when Kaden persisted in pestering his parents to do more to help feed the hungry, they realized just how serious he was. So the proud parents helped Kaden make things official, founding his own kid-friendly food pantry that he aptly dubbed “Mac & Cheese and Pancakes,” in honor of his mission to donate more kid-friendly food and of course, his two favorite foods.
The non-profit became official in February and “Mac & Cheese and Pancakes” has become a true community effort. Diane says that the whole family is involved, with Kaden's three-year-old and five-year-old siblings helping to sort and count items, unpack boxes, and load the car, while his friends from the neighborhood help him on other projects, like a few weekends ago, when 10 kids got together to stuff 100 backpacks filled with food.
“Kids helping kids is their tagline,” says Diane and it's apparent that it's 100% true.
Kaden uses an Amazon Wishlist to post the food that families and kids in his area are in need of, which makes it easy for people all around the world to get involved in donating and helping support his mission. He's even received donations from people in Egypt and Puerto Rico. The seven-year-old also recently won the food company Barbara’s Kidtrepreneur Search with over 25,000 votes and was awarded $10,000 to help stock more local Dallas food pantries.
The award is a well-deserved one, as Kaden as, to date, collected well over 34,000 pounds of food. Diane says that he set an initial goal of getting just 5,000 food items donated, a goal he surpassed within just two weeks. He even helped restock a local food pantry that was broken into (someone stole everything from their shelves) within 48 hours. “It has definitely blown our mind,” she says of seeing the response to Kaden's efforts.
Kaden's Facebook page, Mac & Cheese and Pancakes, keeps his supporters up to date with what the young activist has going on, including donations and events that they are running. One day, he hopes to go national with his food donation efforts, but until then, he's staying busy doing things that a typical almost second-grader does, like building Legos, riding bikes, and practicing tae kwon do.
And, you know, feeding the hungry. Congrats to Kaden and all his helpers! And if you want to donate a box of Kaden's favorite Mac and Cheese, you can do so through his Amazon wish list.