When I was a kid, I wanted to adopt all the stray cats in my neighborhood after watching 101 Dalmatians. My imagination was big and my ambition even bigger — the only thing that stopped me were my parents. Fast-forward 30-ish years and I find myself brushing off similarly lofty ideas that my kids come up with on the daily. So when I heard about a 7-year-old boy in Texas who collected 12,000 pounds of food in two weeks to donate to a local pantry, my heart swelled. I was honestly blown away.
Kaden Newton of Rockwall, Texas may only be in 1st grade, but he is also the proud founder of Mac & Cheese & Pancakes, a small but mighty organization that seeks to fill a local pantry with kid-friendly food. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Kaden’s mom, Diana shared:
“Kaden has a wonderful heart. He came to me at 4 years old, while still in preschool, and mentioned that he wanted to start a ‘company’ to feed the poor … So, we appeased his request by pulling some food out of our own kitchen and taking him down to the local food pantry to donate it.”
After that first donation, Kaden’s enthusiasm for helping the less fortunate only grew, and for three years he insisted on donating more and more food until he came up Mac & Cheese and Pancakes 2016. The outfit may be small, but Kaden and his family are passionate and have already attracted quite a bit of attention for their efforts.
After having a tour of the pantry and spending time donating more food, Kaden noticed that there were young kids just like himself who received the donations, but no kid-friendly foods available.
So he set out to change that — and who better to help identify what kids like to eat than a kid?
With items being donated at an impressive clip, kids who receive food from the pantry can enjoy regular kid cuisines, such as macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, alphabet shaped pasta, cereal bars, and even pancake mix.
The most beautiful part of this story, though, is that a little kid is proving to the world that you don’t need much more than a little bit of passion and a great idea to help your community. If this 1st-grader with a giant heart from a little town in Texas can help change the world, just imagine what you and your kids can do.
Chatting with Babble, Kaden’s mom shares that as of today, the 7-year-old has received over 11,500 items — or roughly 13,758 pounds of food. What an inspiring kid!
If you want to help Kaden fulfill his wish to fully stock the Mac & Cheese and Pancakes pantry, you can view his wish list and donate directly from Amazon.