Boy asks for food donations instead of birthday gifts, wants to help Feeding Tampa Bay

Something Good

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) -A 10-year-old boy in Tampa Bay wants the public to send him presents for his birthday—not for him, but for others!

It’s the fifth year in a row Jacob Staten has asked people to help celebrate his birthday by donating food to those in need. He started out small with only a table full of food. Five years later, he’s donated thousands of pounds of food to those in need.

“I think giving is the best present of all,” Staten said.

His mom and dad said he was inspired to help those in need after visiting family in Boston, where he saw a man who needed help.

“It made me more aware now. He’s being a role model to me. We were very proud of him,” said his mom Alexis.

Staten, who is about to turn 11, is gathering donations for Feeding Tampa Bay.

“Instead of presents, I get food to donate, and we’re going to donate it all to Feeding Tampa Bay. It’s going to be really fun,” he said.

It’s not just his friends taking part in the food drive. His dad’s company, Olympus Pools, has also donated food. They’ve teamed up with the Pasco County Fire Rescue, and the YMCA.

“When we look and we see a kid going out and doing something he doesn’t have to do that kids normally don’t do, it kind of makes us feel like, well, if he’s doing it so should we,” said his dad James.

People can drop off food at any Olympus Pools location from Friday, Nov. 20 to Sunday, Nov. 22.

There will also be a food drive at the Premium Outlets parking lot located at 2300 Grand Cypress Drive in Lutz from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24.

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