When nine-year-old Kayden Smith joins his grandma Denise on regular shopping trips to our Dundee Kirkton store he uses all his £5 pocket money to buy things for the local foodbank.
Our colleagues at the store were so moved by his kindness they invited him in for a special store tour and to meet the manager of Dundee Foodbank. The store’s community champion Sam Will arranged a treat for Kayden as a thank you.
She said: "Kayden didn’t quite realise how touching his kindness is as I think it’s second nature to him, but it really does make everyone who knows about it feel happy and a bit more optimistic.”
Sam works closely with the foodbank, volunteering her time and arranging in-store collections for them. She invited the foodbank’s manager Ken Linton to the store to meet Kayden, his mum and grandma.
Ken said: "What Kayden does is just fantastic. It's great that at such an early age Kayden is so aware of the struggles and hardships other people are going through.
"Sam's helped us out for three years which is tremendous. Everyone at the store is very generous with donations, and I think lots of people know someone who we've helped or have needed help from us themselves."
Kayden’s mum, also called Denise, said Kayden has always had a kind nature and loves helping people.
She said: "Kayden is the most caring, selfless little boy and he will do anything for anybody. I feel like crying when I think about what he does.
"He saw the foodbank donation trolley in the store and said to me, ‘It makes me sad there are people in this world who don't get food, so I want to use my pocket money to help get food for people and make them feel happy.'
"He gets £5 pocket money every week, and for the last couple of months he's been spending it all on the foodbank. Every Sunday he spends ages in the store getting food, and has even thought of meal plans. He buys items for porridge for breakfast, soups for lunch and chicken for evening meals – he's thought of everything.”
Denise and her mum are regular customers at the store and have taken Kayden and his twin brother Connell there since they were babies.
She said: "We only ever go to this shop and we've been going in since the twins were born, so they've seen them grow up. They're lovely – every time we go in they always chat to the twins and make them feel welcome, and they think what Kayden is doing is absolutely brilliant.”
Volunteers from the foodbank will be in store in a few weeks to raise awareness of their work and Sam has invited Kayden and his family to join them. Ken has also invited Kayden to visit the foodbank so he can see what happens to the food after it’s been donated, how they decide what to put in boxes and how they make up meal plans. There’s a permanent collection for Dundee Foodbank in the store, including details of the sorts of things the foodbank is most in need of.
Sam said: “He’s only nine, but is so aware of things and really wants to help. It’s just so uplifting and wonderful to see someone so young so keen to help people. He’s genuinely fascinated by the foodbank’s work and is really excited to be able to go there.
“He’s such a kind boy, with a much older head on his shoulders. He just loves helping people and I really love seeing that. If we can encourage his age group to be as aware of the world around them as Kayden is then hopefully by the time they’re adults foodbanks won’t be needed as much as they are today.
“Kayden’s made quite an impression here – we’re all proud of him and a bit overwhelmed by what he’s doing. As we were having our photos taken a lady at one of the checkouts said, ‘When you’ve finished can you send him over because I want to shake his hand and say how grateful we are’. Kayden didn’t quite realise how touching his kindness is as I think it’s second nature to him, but it really does make everyone who knows about it feel happy and a bit more optimistic."
Dundee Foodbank is one of hundreds of Trussell Trust centres across the country supported by the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme, which is donating £20 million to the Trussell Trust and FareShare.
Samantha Stapley, Director of Operations at the Trussell Trust, said: “Everyone here who’s heard what Kayden’s been doing has been really touched by his incredible kindness and generosity – and it’s a wonderful example of how Asda customers, colleagues and the wider community can make a difference.
"Thanks to our partnership with Asda, we are able to better support food banks in our network, just like Dundee Foodbank, while also campaigning for long-term change to end hunger and poverty in the UK. Through Fight Hunger Create Change, food banks will be able to offer additional support to deliver more than food, tackle the root causes that lock people into poverty and build people’s resilience so they are less likely to need a food bank in the future."
Asda Fight Hunger Create Change: Read more stories about how the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change initiative has been helping local communities here and find out more about our partnership with FareShare and The Trussell Trust here.