By Adam Dutton
A kindhearted 11-year-old boy used his own birthday money to launch a food bank service – which he runs from his garden shed.
Isaac Winfield fills bags of groceries that have been donated and hands them out to the needy around his hometown.
The generous youngster started the food bank after asking his mum, Claire, to give him money for groceries instead of a birthday present.
Since starting the food bank in 2020, the service has grown so much that Isaac’s family bought a shed to store the hundreds of donated items.
Well wishers can now donate food or ask for supplies by contacting the schoolboy via his Friend’s of Isaac Food Bank Facebook page.
He takes bags of shopping to people or his parents give him a lift in their van at weekends, which has been customized with Isaac’s instantly recognizable rainbow logo.
Those in need are also able to go to Isaac’s food bank shed, which is open 24 hours a day, and help themselves.
The youngster, who was born with a rare chromosome disorder, started the food bank after learning that his new school didn’t accept food donations.
Isaac, from Redditch, Worcs., is now planning to expand the service and has a local charity sponsoring him to open a foodbank in the town.
Proud mum Claire, 42, said: “It started in the car on the way to school.”
“We’d always donated to food banks, and during the pandemic, he would take food parcels into school which would be given to people in need.”
“When Isaac moved from a mainstream school to a specialist school, he was left confused as to what he was going to do with his food parcel.”
“It was in the middle of the pandemic and his new school wasn’t offering food parcels.”
“Being the resilient little lad he is, he said, ‘it’s alright, we’ll give them food at my house’.”
“I was laughing, but he had just broken his arm, so I let him do it to cheer him up.”
“I doubled what money we gave them normally for food parcels, and he went off to Aldi.”
“With a little bit of help, he put all the food he bought in a little greenhouse with some lights and started offering it from there.”
“Someone spotted it and put it on one of those Facebook community sites, and it went mad. People came and donated.”
“The greenhouse lasted four weeks before I had to go and get a shed because we ran out of room.”
“By Easter 2021, we were funded for a bigger shed by the free masons. He ran his little shed and his big shed on the drive.”
“We have the big shed on the driveway and operations will continue from the house. Luckily, we have a big driveway.”
Isaac has attracted the help of big sponsors like Morrison’s and a local charity called Building Bridges to keep his food bank operational.
YouTuber Mark McCann donated a fully taxed and insured van to help get the food bank mobile.
Mum-of-four Claire said, “It’s gone from a little project to a vital community project.”
“I can’t believe it’s been two years coming up. He had a van donated.”
“Isaac loves YouTube, and we had a YouTuber called Mark McCann the driveway who donated the van, it was fully taxed and insured.”
“Morrison’s jumped on board and started supporting us with the cause, so has the community.”
“Our local community donates as and when they can.”
The selfless youngster even asked family and friends not to give him birthday presents this year and instead make food bank donations.
Claire said, “For his 11th birthday, he just wanted food bank donations, and it was absolutely rammed.”
“He just wanted to get as many donations in as possible to help as many people as he can.”
“I see roughly five visitors a day. The shed is always open, and they don’t need to knock. I know we get visitors who come late at night and avoid seeing people.”
“We think the situation for people is going to get worse and worse as the winter comes up. As it gets colder, people are going to have to choose between heating and eating.”
“We’re stocking up on pet food, food, winter clothes, and boots to help people keep warm.”
“Isaac’s always been very kind-hearted. Anything he comes across, he always wants to stop and help. I’m very blessed.”
“It’s massively helped with his confidence and his disability.”
“To help all these people and hear how much of a wonderful job he’s doing – it’s boosted his confidence.”
“He can’t read or write, but he can fundraise.”
Isaac has now been nominated for a local business award and hopes to open his second food bank in the town next month.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker.
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