Kid Idols! Kaden Newton’s Comfort Food Revolution

“Whenever my mom says, ‘Breakfast! It’s pancakes,’ I’m like ‘Aw, yeah!’ In the afternoon, she’s like, ‘Kaden, mac and cheese,’ and I’m like, ‘Yes! Two times in a row!’” Kaden Newton is a typical 7-year-old boy in that respect, but he’s an idol because he shares his pancakes and mac and cheese with kids less fortunate than him.

When he was four, the little boy from Texas decided he wanted to help keep needy people get fed, so he and his family started donating canned and dry goods to Rockwall’s Helping Hands Food Pantry. He was curious about where that food was going and what the place looked like. When his mom, Diana, took him into the food pantry, Kaden was disappointed with what he saw. “There wasn’t very much kid friendly food,” he said. “There was like canned carrots and canned green beans that I didn’t really like, and so I thought like, well, I can get some kid-friendly food to make those kids happy.”

Helping Hands was just giving away what was being donated to them, and grateful for it, but Kaden decided to take matters into his own hands. He created a company that would donate foods kids want to eat. The name of Kaden’s co is Mac & Cheese and Pancakes, and it’s taken off like peanut butter and jelly.

He started by asking for help from friends and family via social media and created a wishlist on Amazon to make donating easy-peasy. But then the movement went viral… In a little over 10 days, the Newtons’ home was packed with truckloads of comfort foods donated for children in need. Kaden’s organization has received more than 7,000 items for the Helping Hands pantry, and the deliveries keep coming.

“It’s cool that we have this much food here ... We have Goldfish, juice, granola bars, soup,” Kaden said. “Pasta, definitely mac and cheese.”

When he’s not managing his company, Kaden attends Celia Hays Elementary School, takes piano lessons, and participates in taekwondo, gymnastics and the S.T.E.M. program at The CORE in Rockwall.

When his local North Texas newspaper, Blue Ribbon News, interviewed Kaden, he said, “I feel amazing, like a true leader.”

The young philanthropist has taken his food drive very seriously, even converting one of the rooms in his family’s home into an office. In it is a bulletin board — his “wall of fame” — plastered with photos of Kaden posing next to boxes of donations and other vital statistics related to his company. He has not one but two desks – “If I get bored sitting at this desk I can just move to the other one.”

He enjoys the workload that comes with being the boss at Mac & Cheese and Pancakes – especially all the math that’s involved. “You have to be really smart for this job and work hard,” Kaden said. “But it’s worth it. It’s a small company now but from my generation to the next, it’ll keep getting bigger and bigger.”

It seems Kaden has found his calling. “I want to keep on doing Mac & Cheese and Pancakes. Although you don’t get paid any money, you get paid from the heart.”

Who are some of your favorite real-life kid heroes? Share your idols with us!

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