Texarkana, TX – Nine year old McKenzi Hale is on a mission, a mission to end hunger. Her mission started just after Thanksgiving when she saw a video of another young boy, right about her age, who has been running an End Hunger Campaign for the last few years in Austin, Texas. His name is Mace Massingill and his goal this year was to feed 250,000 people and to recruit our youth to help him in his efforts. Together, these young individuals are known as the “Hunger Fighters,” using the hashtag #nohunger.
McKenzi set a goal in the Texarkana area of raising enough money and collecting enough food to feed 5,000 people. “It is important to help others and to feed people who do not have enough to eat,” said McKenzi Hale. “I think that it is so sad to see people on the street or know kids at school that do not have food at home.” In preparation of her food drive, McKenzi visited the Regional Harvest Food Bank and took a tour of the programs that the food bank supports. She met a gentleman who had been volunteering for over 10 years to support organizing and providing large quantities of food to other area programs, like Randy Sams, and she learned about the backpack program that helps feed kids on the weekend when they are away from school.
McKenzi’s first deadline for the drive was right after the holidays but she extended it to the end of January to rally support for more donations. “It is hard to keep people engaged in giving,” said Liz Fazio Hale, McKenzi’s stepmom. “And that is as important of a lesson as any: to encourage our youth not to give up in helping others.”
To help raise awareness, McKenzi took boxes to Graphics Packaging Inc. (formerly IP), BWI, Kessler’s Allstate Insurance, and Riverbend Water Resources District, and she wrote notes to many of her friends. “It was a lot easier to get people to give money,” said McKenzi.
In total, McKenzi raised enough money and collected enough food to meet her goal of feeding 5,000 people, bringing the Hunger Campaign total for this year to feeding 280,000!
When asked what the most difficult part was of her mission McKenzi replied, “the multiplying.”
Congratulations to these young Hunger Fighters and may their mission be a non-ending journey!