In 2015, then-10-year-old Mackenzie "Kenzie" Hinson established the Make A Difference Food Pantry to engage her community in the fight against hunger.
The food pantry serves over 4,000 individuals per month, and in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, served over 8,000 individuals. Kenzie operates the food pantry with support from her parents and volunteers, as well as generous donations from individuals and organizations.
We are stopping hunger one meal, one family at a time, by providing nutritious food to those in need with compassion and love - because it's more than just food; it's about how you make people feel!
Hurricane Harvey Relief: The Make A Difference Food Pantry worked with citizens across Wayne County to collect food and toiletry donations for Hurricane Harvey disaster survivors. The Hinson Family and supporter Kevin Grenier drove the mobile feeding truck (donated by S.T. Wooten) over 20 hours to Wharton, Texas, to deliver the donations to the "Just Do It Now" Community Center, which feeds children, seniors, and the community, in addition to offering tutoring, mentoring, and sports.
Mobile Feeding Truck: Thanks to the generosity of S.T. Wooten (F250 truck donation), Enterprise of Wilson ($1,000 donation), and Lifestyle Limousine Services ($2,000 donation), we now have a truck to help keep even more members of our community from going hungry. Thanks to the Mar Mac Fire Department for helping to transport the trailer!
Youth Volunteerism Recognition: Governor Roy Cooper declared April 21-24 as "Make A Difference Youth Volunteer Week" and appointed Kenzie as North Carolina's Spokeskid for Volunteerism.
Advocacy on Capitol Hill: Kenzie visited with Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and their staff in Washington, D.C., to discuss hunger in North Carolina, especially amongst children. Kenzie also met with Tyson Foods' Government Relations Office to discuss summer feeding programs.
Make a Difference Food Pantry
231 & 227 Center Street
Mount Olive, NC 28365
Ongoing Opportunities: Consider volunteering at the pantry, making a financial donation, or dropping off non-perishable food donations at the pantry or at the Dollar General of Grantham collection point.
Senior Citizen Mobile Pantry: We deliver fresh produce, non-perishables, and a monthly hot meal to senior citizens residing at Johnston Place, Johnston Court, and North Point of Mount Olive.
Backpack Buddy Program: We provide students with six meals and two snacks every Friday to ensure they have food over the weekend.
Holidays/Afterschool Program: We provide lunches to 250 children when schools are closed for holidays, as well as snacks for multiple afterschool programs and school emergency food pantries.
Summer Feed Program: Last summer, we provided over 1,800 meals through Kenzie’s Kids Café to keep kids from going hungry during the summer break.