A small person with a big voice, and a bigger impact
Packers running back AJ Dillon’s sister Olivia is on a mission to combat food insecurity. It started in the 3rd grade when she noticed one of her snacks missing. Initially, she was upset. When she approached her mother, her mom gently explained that not everyone was as fortunate and that her snack fed a hungry classmate. That simple event opened Olivia’s eyes. She had classmates who were hungry enough to steal food. That’s when Olivia started doing something extraordinary. She brought extra snacks—a simple concept with enormous repercussions.
What started as a simple gesture of goodwill turned into a mission. In the fifth grade, Olivia would use that to jumpstart her Connecticut kid governor campaign. In doing so, she’d rub a little inspiration off on AJ. AJ Dillon, that is. Running back for the Green Bay Packers. Mr. Quadzilla himself. This past June, Dillon announced a partnership with Feeding American. He was helping to kick off a campaign to raise awareness, money, and donating $25,0000 out of his wallet to help feed Wisconsin’s youth.
So awesome to partner with a brand that supports my family and I! Shoutout @Motts for providing apple juice and sauce to my little sister’s food drive. While on the CT Kid Governor Cabinet, she is raising awareness and working to combat food insecurity! pic.twitter.com/SouqK8aWM6
— AJ “Quadzilla” Dillon (@ajdillon7) September 20, 2022
Over the last 20 years, food insecurity has exponentially expanded in America. The Covid-19 pandemic heightened America’s awareness of the problem. Many children were dependent on school lunches as their primary source of nutrition. People started noticing an issue when kids were kept home during the pandemic. Many children weren’t getting enough nutrition at home. Covid-19 has heightened the awareness of food insecurity. Feeding America estimates that one-in-five of Wisconsin’s youth do not know when their next meal is coming. In Olivia’s home state of Connecticut, nearly half a million residents suffer from hunger. Feeding America estimates that 131,000 children are food insecure.
Hunger can be detrimental to a child’s development. A hungry child has exacerbated anxiety and often cannot focus on assignments in school. Improper nutrition can result in an elevated risk of anemia and asthma. For Olivia, she was devasted that some of the children in her class sitting next to her weren’t being fed as she was each night. She couldn’t just sit there.
So don’t just sit there. Feeding Wisconsin of Eastern Wisconsin is running a promotion–donate at least $50 and receive a nifty “hunger action month’ tee-shirt. $1 provides two meals.