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Situations surrounding the coronavirus pandemic have burdened America’s food banks — between the beginning of March through October 2020, Feeding America reports 4.2 billion meals were distributed. Volunteers have worked hard to make it easier for hungry individuals and families to obtain needed food. Children are a large part of the volunteer force.
Youngster Raises Money by Creating a Subscription-Based Weekly Newsletter
Nine-year-old Cooper Nelson lives in Loveland, Colorado. During an interview with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro, he states he heard about the food bank shortages on a local news report.
Nelson believed he should help people having financial difficulties. “They lost their jobs during coronavirus, so they didn’t have enough money to afford food.”
He decided to make money to help by selling subscriptions for a physical newsletter he creates, which he says is kid-friendly. Nelson says he loves to do the research for each issue, and “I like to see the final thing that comes out.”
The budding journalist now has delivered 40 weekly issues of the Lakes Gazzette as of Jan. 31, 2021. His mother, Erin Nelson, told channel 9 NBC News her son has raised more than $3,500 for the Food Bank of Larimer County.
Paul Donnelly, the communications director for the food bank, told NBC:
Cooper Nelson is helping us, he absolutely is. We were blown away. We thought it was awesome that this 9-year-old boy was going to help us out like that — what’s been really fascinating was how much he’s stuck with it.
Nathaniel Eagerly Volunteers to Pack Food Boxes for Seniors
According to a Feeding America post, eight-year-old Nathaniel (no last name given) likes to sort fresh produce and packs food boxes for older adults at Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Other volunteers call him the “food pun kid.” They say he entertains them with quips, like this one:
Why was the tomato blushing? Cuz it saw the salad dressing!
The young man heard about the problem with hunger in the U.S. and began asking his mom why kids go hungry. He also wanted to know how to help. Because of his queries, he, his mom, dad, brother, and grandma volunteer at the food bank.
When asked why he volunteers at the food bank, Nathaniel says he wants to help people in need — especially seniors and kids. His beyond-his-years wise explanation:
I think kids should get fruits and veggies because it gives them the opportunity to feel good inside. It tells them they’re not alone in this world. Other people will help them through life.
Over two million volunteers across the United States help food banks impact children and families’ lives — each month. Some of them are children with strong empathy muscles — they have a positive impact on their communities.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NPR: 9-Year-Old Boy Starts His Own Newspaper To Help Local Food Banks; Lulu Garcia-Navarro
9NBC NEWS: 9-year-old starts his own newspaper to help local food bank; Ann Herbist
Feeding America: Little Kids Make a Big Impact; Allison Weber
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of F Delventhal’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Mack Male’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License