Giving back

Florida teen fighting hunger gets a cereal surprise

When Cheerios heard about the inspiring efforts of a teen doing her part to fight childhood hunger, they were inspired to get involved.
Kennedy McCormick holding box of Cheerios

An inspiring birthday wish

Kennedy McCormick asks for the same thing for her birthday every year.

Boxes of cereal.

She was motivated to start collecting cereal at the age of seven after seeing a commercial about childhood hunger.

“I wanted to help in some type of way,” says McCormick. “So, I asked my parents if instead of getting presents for my birthday, I could help the children.”

And every year since, she’s donated that cereal to Feeding Tampa Bay’s Cereal for Summer food program, which focuses on feeding children while they’re not in school.

“Kennedy has been an inspiration to all of us,” says Kelley Sims, chief development officer at Feeding Tampa Bay. “We’ve been able to share her story with many others who then use that as inspiration to think about what they might be able to do with their own skills and talents to give back.”

This year, for her 14th birthday, McCormick had to get creative with her fundraising efforts due to the challenges of COVID-19.

Instead of hosting her cereal drive at school, McCormick put on a virtual food drive complete with her own piano recital, asking for monetary donations for Feeding Tampa Bay.

“I knew I had to find a different way, so I wanted to put my talents together with the food drive because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it at my school this year,” says McCormick. “It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of rehearsing.” McCormick’s virtual drive raised more than $3,000, which equates to approximately 30,000 meals.