PORT ORANGE, Fla. — A 6-year-old's mission to help a hungry classmate turned into something bigger than she ever could have imagined this summer.
- Eva Chapman, 6, on mission to feed hungry kids
- Drive started to help hungry classmate
- Eva to donate PB&J to 49 elementary schools
While Eva Chapman was wrapping up the school year at Spruce Creek Elementary School year in Port Orange, she was worried about how one of her classmates would get food over the summer.
“Well this one boy in my class, I just thought about him and I just thought I should get some more food for this little child,” she said. She took her concerns to her mother, Nicole.
“She started worrying about what he was eating, and how he was getting enough food and where he lived and she asked me, hey can we do a food drive?" Nicole Chapman said.
Chapman, having experience in doing diaper drives with her organization Gabriella's Light, knew exactly what to do.
“So we came up together with this idea of having a peanut butter and jelly drive because it was kid-friendly, it's got a good shelf life, it's easy, and we put it up on the Facebook page and it just took fire," she said.
While they had originally set up to collect about 50 sets of PB&J for the school, donations came flooding in.
“It got bigger and bigger and bigger and then it just went to nine more schools,” Eva said.
The success of Eva's drive caught the attention of the PB&J giants — Jif and Smuckers.
“They said we would like to donate 10,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly to you, 5,000 of each, and we nearly fell over,” Chapman said.
Eva burst with excitement when she heard the news.
“It just blasted off in my brain and I was like how did it get this far?” she said.
Eva received the donation in August, which was so big it had to be put it in a donated storage space. Now, she will be able to help kids in all 49 elementary schools in Volusia County this year.
“It just feels awesome,” she explained.
Eva's mother said she is proud of her daughter for really being empathetic of others and figuring out how she can help, even at just six years old.
“Eva has a huge heart," Chapman said. "She just cares so much about people, she cares about their feelings, she cares about their well being."
Even though the drive started as just a short project, Eva has no plans of stopping anytime soon. She has set a new lofty goal for how many children she hopes to help.
"Ten million," Eva said with a huge grin.
Eva and her volunteers are planning on delivering the jars to the schools between August 19 and September 8.
For more updates on Eva's progress, visit her Facebook page.