Never underestimate the power anyone, no matter their age, can have on changing the world. That is exactly what best friends and neighbors, Brooke Lackey, 14, and Kayley Gallagher, 13, are trying to do. The pair have been busy working towards ending hunger in our community for the past two years.
“In February 2016, we were inspired by the show, The HALO Effect, on Nickelodeon to do something to help others. We started thinking of ideas and our favorite idea was feeding the hungry,” said Brooke.
The HALO Effect is a show about “honoring those who help and lead others,” as stated in the program’s tagline. After watching the show, the two created an idea to prepare bags of food for the homeless and less fortunate. Soon, their organization was named Eats 4 Earth.
“The way we came up with the name was a little confusing. Everyone loves alliterations, so we wanted to do something with that. First, Brooke and I decided on the Food Foundation. We were in the process of creating t-shirts, when Brooke did some research and found out that name was already taken by an organization in the U.K.,” commented Kayley. “We thought of other names with alliterations and came up with Eats 4 Earth.”
Behind the Eats 4 Earth’s name is the mission of creating bags of food and giving them to those who are hungry. Brooke and Kayley take donations and purchase nonperishable and canned food from the grocery store. Then, the best friends bag up the items and give back to their community.
“We have a stand that we’ll set up and sell lemonade to get donations. On a good day, we make about $20-30. Some people will just see us on the street and donate. Also, we have a Go Fund Me page, that is up to about $650-700. Also, our family and friends have donated to help our cause. With these contributions, we buy nonperishable foods and easy to open canned foods,” Kayley explained.
“We always get healthy items to give to others,” added Brooke.
Thanks to these donations, Eats 4 Earth has given bags of food to many people on the street and donated to Crisis Control Ministry, Inc., Samaritan Ministries, Ardmore Moravian outdoor food pantry, and the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission, including 86 cans of food to the Second Harvest Foodbank.
“Eventually, we would love to start a backpack program at our school, Paisley IB Magnet School. The school is in a lower-class neighborhood. Brooke and I will talk with our principal and guidance counselor about what we are doing. Maybe we can have a bin to collect cans and snacks. Then, after school, we could bag up the food and hand it out,” said Kayley.
“Right now, we are only doing this in Winston-Salem, but would love to spread to other cities in North Carolina” Brooke stated. “Our original goal was to actually be on the HALO Effect, but we have downsized a little bit.”
For these middle schoolers, Eats 4 Earth is more than just bagging up food. It is about lending a helping hand and being a part of their community.
“Doing something, like handing out bags of food, makes you feel good and inspires you to keep doing more. We may be a seventh and an eighth grader, but we are citizens, too, and can make an impact,” expressed Brooke.
“It feels great getting messages on the GoFundMe page from people, asking to help,” commented Kayley. “You are never too young to help.”