What if Your Children Couldn’t Eat at Home?

Take a moment to close your eyes. Think about every race, every age, think about yourself. Think about if your kids couldn’t eat at home—or your nieces or nephews—think about it, if you were in that situation. What would you do for your kids? What would you do for your family?” Kennedy Brandon asked.

These are the kinds of questions Kennedy, an eighth-grader at Francis C. Hammond Middle School, wants the world to contemplate. Kennedy is not your average middle schooler. While she wears bright pink trainers, a staple for many middle schoolers, her eyes hold a vision of someone beyond her years.

For one just entering her teenage years, she has seen and heard a lot. Her friends confide in her about their personal lives, including when they occasionally go hungry. Kennedy does what she can so they are not “sleepy and dull,” as she describes students in her school when they have not eaten. She offers them her food and even money.

One experience, in particular, triggered Kennedy to want to make a change.

My family was driving through Old Town and we went past one of the homeless shelters. I saw people in line with the big bowls of soup, and the shelter had run out of food. There were still a lot of people in line and they just had to walk away. And there were little kids too. I want to help the people in that line who didn’t get food,” said Kennedy.

Her vision? To one day run a homeless shelter where she can provide for the people of Alexandria, regardless of race, age and gender. Friends consistently have told Kennedy she is going to go big.

Kennedy is an insightful student and her compassion for others never fails to amaze the staff and students here. Her selfless acts of volunteerism are a blessing to our school and the surrounding community. Her passion for helping is exemplary,” said Francis C. Hammond Principal Pierrette Peters.

In the meantime, Kennedy is launching her own food drive for the second year in a row. Her goal this year is to collect 5,000 pounds of food and $3,000 which she will use for fellow classmates in need.

Doing the food drive…it just makes me happy. I see smiles on people’s faces and just, happiness all around,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy Brandon 3

Kennedy will be collecting money and donations to give to children, and students of ACPS, and to support our local community food banks.

Care more. I say that a lot more. Imagine if your son or daughter, niece or nephew, were on the side of the road, with a sign saying ‘feed me.’ What would you do?

The food drive kick-off takes place on Saturday, October 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ramsay Recreation Center at 5650 Sanger Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311. Kennedy is looking for donations of:

  • bags of unexpired, non-perishable food
  • sanitary napkins
  • money

If you or your family are in need, the City of Alexandria has multiple resources of which you can take advantage:

Read how the Breakfast in the Classroom program is also helping students at Hammond.

ACPS, Announcements, Hammond, Highlights, Ramsay