Over 30,000 lbs of food donations generated by 12-year-old boy

December 23, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A 12-year-old boy from Orangeville is making a massive impact on food banks both locally and around the globe.

Through Jaylen Padayachee’s “Food Bank Street Challenge,” where kids collect donations from a designated street, over 30,000 lbs of non-perishable food has been donated to food banks since November, far exceeding his goal of 25,000 lbs.

The Orangeville Food Bank alone has received 17,000 lbs from the community.

Over 120 different streets have had food collected from them to support the challenge, including over 50 in Orangeville, and a single street in Toronto generated 5,000 lbs of food over two days, while the highest total from a local street was 905 lbs at Sandringham Circle.

Jaylen has been under the national spotlight for the past few weeks, since the challenge has spread to Guelph, Kitchener, GTA, Regina, Sask., and beyond.

“It has kind of blown up that way,” said Koven Padaychee, Jaylen’s father.

Jaylen told the Citizen when he was first coming up with the challenge, he had no idea it would make such a massive impact both locally and across Canada.

When asked why he started the challenge, he noted that it’s an important time of the year for food banks, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing.

“I like helping people and some people may be struggling at this time, so I decided to make a change,” Jaylen told the Citizen.

He said even though Christmas is coming up fast, there’s still time to collect donations.

“Just keep going with this. We’ve already reached our goal, but we can pass it and make a bigger difference,” Jaylen noted.

Food banks have needed an extra boost in donations this year since schools and businesses have been unable to host their annual food drives because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Jaylen’s dad, Koven, told the Citizen that the best part about the Food Bank Street Challenge is that it’s kid-driven.

It provides an important lesson to youth in the community about giving back and volunteering, said Koven.

Jaylen finished his seventh street for the challenge, Purple Hill, over the weekend and Koven said everyone who gives donations is always so thrilled to see a youth doing charitable work this time of year.

“The feedback has been awesome. I think people want to give back, but they just don’t know how to, and this is giving a perfect opportunity for people to share,” noted Koven.

He told the Citizen, since food bank’s collect around 70 per cent of all their donations in any given year during the holiday season, him and Jaylen may look at doing something in the spring or summer to help give them a mid-year boost.

Koven also noted that they want to partner with the Canada Food Bank and perhaps find other avenues to help them collect non-perishable food when the COVID-19 pandemic dies down.

If anyone’s interested in learning more about the challenge, how it works, and how to participate, they can join the “Food Bank Street Challenge” group on Facebook.


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