Duluth 6-year-old spearheads food driveGavin Bulthuis had some big questions while back-to-school shopping with his mom, Kari Bulthuis, about a month ago. He was wondering about kids from families who were less fortunate, and what they could do to help hungry children.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
Gavin Bulthuis had some big questions while back-to-school shopping with his mom, Kari Bulthuis, about a month ago.
He was wondering about kids from families who were less fortunate, and what they could do to help hungry children.
The answer: Gavin’s Food Drive, a benefit for the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank.
“Some kids don’t have food,” said Gavin, a kindergartner at Lincoln Piedmont Elementary School, whom his mother describes as sensitive, smart, fun and the sort of kid who worries about other people.
The 6-year-old canvassed the neighborhood for food donations, and at his recent birthday party guests were asked to bring nonperishable food items. Gavin has a Facebook page with information on how to donate, and photographs of him surrounded by food and holding a “Thank You” sign to various contributors.
“It’s turned into a huge outpouring of food,” Kari Bulthuis said.
So far Gavin has received about 30 boxes of food — much of it kid-friendly — including a 6-pound can of pasta sauce, pudding and cake mixes, Spaghetti-O’s, chicken noodle soup and Spam. Wait, Spam?
Gavin wasn’t so sure about that one.
“I don’t know if kids will like this,” his mom said Gavin responded.
About 50 percent of the donations have been money, which Gavin has taken shopping. He has gotten macaroni and cheese and crackers. There was a donation from Colorado, which showed Gavin just how far he could reach. He has gotten soap, toothbrushes and other bathroom products. But Gavin prefers the food items, according to his mom. He said it is more important to be fed than clean.
Shaye Moris, executive director of Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, said she hadn’t heard about Gavin’s Food Drive.
“It seems like more frequently we have kids wanting to help other kids,” Moris said. “It’s very heartwarming. And, certainly, it’s teaching kids at a young age to help others.”
Gavin, meanwhile, is enjoying the drive.
“It’s pretty fun,” Gavin said of the process. “We’re going to take it to the food bank so kids can eat.”