At just 12 years old, Kenzie Hinson from Goldsboro, NC is making a huge impact in her community by feeding hundreds of hungry people each week through her Make a Difference Food Pantry. This young go-getter has taken it upon herself to tackle the issue of hunger in Wayne, Sampson, and Johnston counties, and she’s doing it with passion and determination.
A Strong-Willed Young Lady with a Heart of Gold
Kenzie is described as a strong-willed young lady who knows how to get things done. Her desire to help others has always been evident, as she actively participates in various community service activities, such as the Children’s Miracle Network, the Ronald McDonald House, and hunger walks. But it was her experience with volunteering at food banks that opened her eyes to the heartbreaking statistics of children suffering from hunger in her own county.
From Statistics to Action
Motivated by what she learned, Kenzie decided to take action. She joined forces with the Food Bank in Raleigh, where she was paired with a mentor who had over 10 years of experience in the field. Under his guidance, she learned that feeding people isn’t just about providing food, but also about making them feel valued and cared for.
Welcome to the Make a Difference Food Pantry
Kenzie’s dedication to her cause is undeniable. She welcomes visitors to the Make a Difference Food Pantry with open arms, ensuring that everyone feels welcome and supported. With the help of donations from Food Lion, Kenzie started off with just non-perishable items like canned goods and pasta. But now, she has expanded her pantry to include fresh produce and meat, serving a staggering 1,184 people in the past month alone.
Going the Extra Mile for Seniors and Children
Kenzie’s efforts extend beyond the food pantry. Every Friday, she distributes food bags to senior citizens in Mount Olive, ensuring they have enough to eat throughout the week. Additionally, she runs the Backpack Buddies program, where she provides food for children over the weekends so they won’t go hungry.
Running a food pantry comes with its challenges, but Kenzie’s determination keeps her going. She faces the daunting task of sorting through 900 pounds of sweet potatoes each month, but with the help of dedicated volunteers, she manages to overcome these obstacles.
The Impact of Kenzie’s Work
Kenzie’s impact on her community cannot be overstated. Her volunteers, many of whom are retired individuals like Ms. Betty and Skipper, dedicate countless hours to support her cause. The sense of community and love at the Make a Difference Food Pantry is palpable, and Kenzie’s passion for helping others is contagious.
A Bright Future Ahead
When asked about her future, Kenzie confidently states that the sky’s the limit. Her ultimate goal is to eradicate hunger one meal and one family at a time. Her unwavering commitment has not gone unnoticed, as Tyson Foods recently honored her as a Meals That Matter Hero, awarding her a $20,000 grant to cover the food pantry’s expenses for a year and a custom commercial freezer.
With Kenzie leading the way, the Make a Difference Food Pantry is an inspiring example of how one person’s determination and compassion can make a significant impact on the lives of others. To learn more about Kenzie’s incredible journey and to support her cause, visit the Banking Blog.