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From The Blog: Think You Can't Make A Difference? Meet Peyton Medick.



As we enter the holiday season, we are faced with the sad reality that one in six Americans is fighting hunger. And unfortunately, hungry people also are more at risk of becoming obese, because the food they can access is often unhealthy.

That’s why we were so inspired by Peyton Medick, who is working to combat both hunger and obesity in her Wisconsin community. Medick is making a big difference — and she’s just 13.

Oh, and she’s been doing it for five years.

With a little help from her parents, Medick founded Peyton’s Promise when she was just 8. Since its launch four years ago, her organization has collected a whopping 60 tons of food to help supply local food banks.

“My promise is to make the world a better place, one can at a time,” Medick explains.

Along with collecting cans, Medick speaks to groups about the problem of hunger, and recruits others to get involved. There are now 10 student advocates in neighborhood schools spreading the word, a program that is designed to ensure Peyton’s Promise continues its mission after Medick heads off to college in a few years.

And because she knows that childhood obesity is a problem, Medick works to ensure that the food Peyton’s Promise collects is as healthy as possible. The organization just received a grant for a cooler that the pantry can use to store fresh, healthy items, for example. Medick also encourages her fellow students to get active. She’s even developed a “soup can work out” to help them get into shape.

Medick tells that she was inspired to start her organization after watching a television report about hunger in Camden, N.J. and asking her parents what she could do to help.

“We were talking about how we can make a difference, and just kind of brainstorming things that I can do,” Medick recalls. “We had an idea of an organization. It just started with one food drive.”

Peyton’s Promise is especially busy during the holiday season, as the organization is working to keep food pantries stocked and provide holiday meals for those in need. Medick’s mom, Teena Medick, tells us that although more people are volunteering to help than ever before, the need is even greater.

When the organization first launched, 37-47 families were visiting the local food bank. These days, around 115 rely on the pantry for help, Teena Medick says.

“Even though we are busier with our food drives and working harder, it’s overwhelming,” Teena Medick adds. “It really is.”