At eleven years old, Joshua Williams became the youngest recipient ever of the White House Champions of Change Award. Since he was five years old, Joshua has been passionate about feeding others, and through persistence and the help of family members, has been able to accomplish his dream of helping others. He started Joshua’s Heart Foundation to help end food insecurity in his community.
Every week, Joshua’s Heart Foundation distributes food to about 50 families. They also support a backpack program, where they offer food to children for times when they are not in school. Joshua tries to educate others, both within his local community and nationally, about hunger, and what they can do to help.
(Photo credit: Joshua's Heart Foundation)
While Joshua’s first priority is to end hunger, he also stresses the importance of healthy eating. The foundation frequently receives discounted or free foods from their local Whole Foods grocery store, and has paired with the grocery chain to teach people how to cook healthy foods and to distribute healthy recipes. By offering cooking classes, the foundation shows families how to prepare the foods they receive in a healthy way.
Joshua is an inspiration to us all and shows that no matter what your age, you can impact your community and help others. Not only has Joshua been able to help feed families in need, he has also inspired other kids in his community to get involved. In fact, Joshua’s Heart Foundation’s Junior Advisory Board is mostly made up of kids, with only a few adults to help.
One of the main goals of the First Lady and Let’s Move! is to increase access to proper nutrition. More than 23 million Americans—including 6.5 million children—live in “food deserts," which are low-income urban and rural neighborhoods that are more than a mile away from a supermarket. Both within and outside of government, individuals across the country have made efforts to increase their community’s access to healthful foods.
Learn more about food deserts and increasing access by checking out the Food Desert Locator. You can start addressing these issues in your own community by starting a community or school garden, and get involved in other Let's Move! programs.