Châteauguay Food Bank needed donations, so an 11-year-old boy stepped up to the challenge

·3 min read
Châteauguay Food Bank needed donations, so an 11-year-old boy stepped up to the challenge
Châteauguay Food Bank needed donations, so an 11-year-old boy stepped up to the challenge

When Nathan Leduc-Lavigne heard his local food bank's supplies were shrinking before the holidays, the 11-year-old got to work.

"I decided to help the food bank because they're running low on food — to help them have a good Christmas," said Leduc-Lavigne, who lives in Châteauguay, Que., on Montreal's South Shore.

He set a goal of filling up his parents' two cars with groceries and donating it all to the Châteauguay Food Bank, but he has done much more than that — raking in enough to fill the two vehicles multiple times.

He's also collected at least $950 in cash donations, and he's not done yet — as an inspired community has been eager to support the young boy's effort.

This isn't the first time Leduc-Lavigne has worked to help those in need. Two years ago, he helped out a family just before the holidays and he remembers how grateful they were.

"When I see somebody is happy, I feel happy," said Leduc-Lavigne.

And now he hopes to make this food drive an annual tradition.

Proud mom surprised by success

Tanya Morlock, the boy's mother, said she is proud of her son.

"We never expected it to be this big," said Molock.

She's impressed because it's not every day that young children take such big strides to help others. But her son just made up his mind, and the project grew from there, she said.

"He's well beyond his years," said Morlock. "When he gets these ideas, he can make them huge."

 Kwabena Oduro/CBC
Kwabena Oduro/CBC

The family goes around to do pickups every night and they've established drop-off points at two local businesses, Pâtisserie Obsession in Châteauguay and Coiffure Capri in LaSalle.

"This is a complete family experience. When we go do pickups, the whole family goes together and we just bond as a family."

Food bank grateful for support

The Châteauguay Food Bank has been posting about the boy's progress on its Facebook page, sharing images and encouraging his effort.

"Keep it up Nathan. Our community thanks you and is cheering you on," said Wednesday's post.

The organization's president, Marcia McInnis, said the annual food drive this fall earned about half the usual amount.

The pandemic has hit organizations like hers hard, and while the bank has volunteers ready to help, the shelves have been rather bare, she said.

Submitted by Tanya Morlock
Submitted by Tanya Morlock

"Having help like this, especially from somebody of such a young age, is incredible," she said.

"This kind of help will make what we have last longer and we won't have to spend any funds for a quite a bit longer time than we normally would."

Inspired by a high school application question

The project was inspired by Leduc-Lavigne's high school application process which asked him what he would do to make the community better.

He decided not to wait until he was in Grade 7 to get to work. Instead, he wanted to make a difference right away. He looked into the local food bank and his idea blossomed from there.

The 11-year-old admitted that working with his family can be a bit annoying at times, but "it's a team sport." The best part, he said, is how well that team effort has paid off.

"I wasn't expecting this much food," Leduc-Lavigne said.