Feeding America estimates that, in 2014, 48 million Americans lived in food-insecure households, and more than 15 million were children. We met one junior high student at the recent Bayer Crop Science Agvocacy Forum who is trying to do his part to build food security--while balancing his homework.
Twelve-year-old Braeden Mannering likes staying active, writing short stories and blogging online. Most of all, he likes helping those in need.
Braeden’s drive to help food security started after he won a national healthy eating contest. That earned him a trip to the White House and a visit with Michelle Obama, where the first lady challenged him to pay it forward.
“I realized there are a lot of homeless people and poor people in Washington, D.C., and Delaware, where I’m from. I thought it was a social injustice that they couldn’t eat healthy and have access to healthy food and clean water,” Braeden said.
Braeden says after his visit, he passed by a homeless man on the street.
“Once we got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about him,” Braeden recalled.
So he filled a bag with food and asked his mom to drive him back. “I walked out of the car and gave it to him. When I was getting back to the car, he already started eating," the student said.
With the help of family, friends and many donations, Braeden started a non-profit called 3B: Brae’s Brown Bags. In those bags, Braeden packs healthy snacks and water along with a personal letter and information on how to receive more food assistance.
“I’ll always have a bag in my car in case I see someone on the street, or I’ll deliver to homeless shelters and soup kitchens,” he sad.
Now he’s filled 5,000 bags and counting, all delivered with love and care, to make sure those less fortunate aren’t forgotten.
“I want to expand it across the nation," the young man said. "I want to feed as many people as possible."
Watch the AgDay story on Braeden Mannering and Brae's Brown Bags here: