13-year-old helps neighbors in need in big way: ‘It brings a huge smile to my face’


MEDINA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local 13-year-old is helping her community in a huge way. She’s given away hundreds of food and toiletry items to those in need.

About three weeks ago, Kaiana Garner saw a news report about a church doing a food pantry, and knew she wanted to help as well. With help from her mother, she went grocery shopping and set up a tower of food and toiletry items in front of her house, in Medina. There’s bread, pasta, sauce, canned goods, condiments, paper towels, toilet paper and more in her pop-up pantry. Anyone can take anything they need, free of charge.

The 8th grader puts everything out by the curb in the morning, and then takes it back inside around dusk. She does this on days it’s not raining.

And the good deed has become so popular that local businesses now donate to the cause, and neighbors are even buying extra groceries for the pantry too.

Kaiana said it gives her something to do while she’s not at school, and it feels good to help out people in need in her tight-knit community.

“It brings (me) joy and it brings a huge smile to my face because I’m able to give back to those in my community,” she said. “I love it.”

Kaiana also takes extra food to a local senior living community, which also has a food pantry set up outside.

Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.

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