RICHMOND, Va. -- A Chesterfield County boy marked 10 years of donating to the Richmond food bank Feed More on Monday.
"The goal this year was 2,000 pounds and we had 2,100 pounds. So, I was happy about that," Austin Smoyer, 12, said.
Smoyer began holding a donation drive when he was two years old. His parents said they started him doing it as a way to teach him about giving back during the holiday season.
"We thought the easiest way for a young kid is through a food drive. Who can turn down a cute little kid's face asking for donations," said Smoyer's dad, Lee.
His family said it started with Smoyer going around his neighborhood pulling his red Radio Flyer wagon asking for donations and has continued to grow. His efforts were even recognized on Rachael Ray's TV show in 2015.
Over his 10 years, Feed More said that Smoyer has collected over 10,000 pounds of food.
"It's awesome. Just the fact that you can pay it forward and leave a legacy like that and continue to let that grow," said Lee Smoyer of his son's continued efforts.
"It's been great to see him over the last ten years grow and develop," Christy Dalton, Feed More's Community Engagement Manager, said.
She said that having donors that contribute regularly is helpful to their mission -- especially during the pandemic when the number of people they have helped has increased by 15 percent.
"There are people that are out there that are still in need. There are people out there that haven't recovered and we're doing our best to get those people a wonderful as we can," she said.
Smoyer said he has no intentions of slowing down and aims to collect over 2,500 pounds of food next year.
"I'm going to keep it going as long as I can," said Smoyer.
Feed More said if you are interested in helping them with their mission, they are always looking for more volunteers -- especially with their Meals on Wheels program.