Isabel Povey, 14, of Hampstead, N.H., an eighth-grader at Hampstead Middle School, has led more than 15 food drives over the past four years to help feed families in her state who don’t have enough to eat. When Isabel was 7 years old, her dance team made placemats for a local soup kitchen. Upon delivering them, “I was at first shocked by the large need for a dinner right here in my hometown,” said Isabel. “Then I could feel the gratitude. Even though these people evidently had so little, they were so thankful for the warm soup in their bellies. I knew instantly I wanted to help.”
Since that day, Isabel estimates that she has spent 1,800 hours working alone and with others to provide food for people in need. Working with organizations such as HOPE International Worldwide, Blessings in a Backpack, Take a Bite, and the New Hampshire Food Bank, Isabel has organized food drives that have yielded thousands of pounds of food. She also raised money and led a team of family and friends in three walks to end hunger for CROP Walk America, Stomp Out Hunger and One Step at a Time. On occasion, Isabel has met some of the beneficiaries of her food drives and is always inspired by them. “There is no way I would rather spend a Saturday morning than rolling up my sleeves, working hard, and eventually putting a smile on someone’s face,” Isabel said.