In 2015, then-10-year-old Mackenzie "Kenzie" Hinson established the Make A Difference Food Pantry in Goldsboro, North Carolina, 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!
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive: Letter carriers collected 6,000 pounds of food donations from Goldsboro residents as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers' annual event.
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.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper: Governor Cooper invited Kenzie to his inaugural State of the State Address in Raleigh, where he recognized her service to the community. Governor Cooper also toured the pantry and made a much-appreciated food donation.
Food Lion Food Pantry Makeover: The Food Lion Corporation awarded Kenzie with a food pantry makeover, including a new commercial walk-in freezer, new shelving, a check-in station, and tons of frozen food. Thanks to Food Lion for helping us serve even more people!
Appearance on the Harry Show: Kenzie was a guest on Harry Connick Jr's "The Harry Show," where she was presented with a generous donation from General Mills and Food Lion.
Make a Difference Food Pantry
3514 US 13 South
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Essay Contest: Sixth through eighth grade students are invited to submit an essay (300 words or less) on the topic of how hunger affects your classmates. The winner will receive $50.
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.