FEBRUARY 15, 2017
Jennifer Alejos

“I wanted to have a food drive
because I thought it would be nice to ask
for something other than presents.”

Imagine your child told you one day, “I want to get food donations instead of gifts for my birthday” Sounds crazy, but this is exactly what 10 year-old Bella told her parents, 5 years ago when she came home from school one afternoon.

“At school, I saw a bin that said ‘Food Bank’ on it and I found out that it was an organization that helped people and gave them food,” says Bella.

She continues, “I wanted to have a food drive because I thought it would be nice to ask for something other than presents.”

Bella’s parents helped her spread the word to family and friends. They hosted a “glamp-out,” otherwise known as glamorous campout, at her home.

The amount of food she received surpassed her expectations. “It almost filled up my dining room,” comments Bella.

Fast forward to 2017 and Bella has held multiple food drives, some involving her elementary school. Bella’s passion for helping others has also spread to her friends. She says she likes to teach others how the Food Bank helps people and how they can give back.

She’s also expanded her food drives beyond her birthday to include every giving holiday. The food drive she held last Christmas yielded 1,369 pounds of food, her biggest donation yet.

Giving food is important to Bella, in her words, “It gives people energy, it gives them hope, and it lets them know that not everything is bad in the world.”

Bella understands that hunger is an issue that affects people of all ages. This spring, Bella has a goal of 2,000 pounds set for her next food drive. Her motivation is to help kids her age that may be at-risk of hunger during spring break. She’s calling it the “Spring into Action,” food drive.

“I want to get a lot of donations because maybe there might be kids at my school and other schools that depend on the cafeteria for food, so when spring break comes they might not have any food at all,” she says.

When she’s not fighting hunger, you can find Bella reading, playing with her little brother and canine friends. She also volunteers at the Food Bank routinely with her father.

“It makes me feel really good inside when my parents tell me how proud they are of me and what I’m doing to help others.” Hunger fighters like Bella are a great example that you don’t have to be an adult to make a big difference.