Boy, 5, Launches Canned Food Drive

He has the power to make change, even just one small person at the age of five

A 5-year-old boy in Fort Worth launched a summer project to feed the hungry. And one can at a time, he's reaching his goal.

Miles Umscheid calls the project Meals for Miles.

"Miles came to me and decided he wanted to do something to help others." said his mom, Matty Umscheid.

"People who don't have food, then I can give it them," said Miles.

The boy got the idea after listening to a guest speaker in his primary class at Montessori School of Fort Worth. His mom encouraged Miles to write a letter asking classmates, family, friends and neighbors to help.

Here's what he wrote: "Hi, my name is Miles. This summer I'm collecting cans of food for people that do not have any food. I want to collect 1,000 cans of food this summer. Can you please help me? Love, Miles."

The cans of food came— but not 1,000.

"1,000 and about 400," said Miles. "I'm still trying for more. I'm going for 2,000."

"The response has been overwhelming," said his mom. "We've had cans dropped off on our porch. We've had family and friends out of town send money. And I've taken him to various grocery stores to choose different items."

"Yeah, they could give me cans. They can drop off cans. We can go get 'em, and they can give us money," agreed Miles.

Miles takes the money and buys foods based on a list provided by the Tarrant Area Food Bank. He described what happened when another customer in the grocery store saw his cart.

"We had like 100 cans, and they were asking me why we had that many. And, they gave us money to buy more," said Miles.

Donors will slip in an extra bill so Miles can spend on himself, but his mom said Miles puts it right back into the canned food fund.

"It was a proud moment for sure" beams Matty. "I'm just glad he realizes one person can make a change. He has the power to make change, even just one small person at the age of five. And, he understands it's helping others."

Montessori School of Fort Worth wants to help Miles do more. The school at 3420 Clayton Road East set boxes on the front porch for people who want to drop off donations.

The Tarrant Area Food Bank suggests canned meats, canned fruits, canned vegetables, canned soups, peanut butter, dried beans, boxed pastas, cereal, rice and boxed of canned juices.

Miles and his mom expect to deliver the thousands of cans to the food bank in the next couple of weeks.

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