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Neighbours walked by during their morning stroll, passing families waved from their bikes and drivers slowed down long enough to read the hand-drawn sign – “Dylan’s Food Drive”.
The poster was taped to two PVC pipes that were stuck inside construction cones for support.
It was a typical scene for eight-year-old Dylan Pfeifer, who has been staging food drives from his home in metro Phoenix in Arizona, the United States, in response to the pandemic.
“It started because I wanted to give Internet to people, ” he said, explaining that he had transitioned into virtual learning at Chandler Traditional Academy’s Independence Campus. He heard on the news that some students around the US were having a hard time taking advantage of virtual learning because they didn’t have Internet.Dylan manning his food drive at the corner of his neighbourhood cul de sac in Chandler last December.
“My mum said it was going to be hard to provide internet, so we decided to do food drives, ” he said.
Each drive is the culmination of hours of work that involves drawing posters, going door-to-door to hand out flyers and working with his mother to post information on Facebook.
Dylan has hosted three drives from his home in Chandler, about 32km southeast of Phoenix. He said he is planning his next one in June, when summer vacation begins.
“I would plan one every day if I could,” he said.
“It’s rare that you see kids at Dylan’s age who have a handle on what the problem is in their community, the people around them who are affected by it, and have the courage to do something about it, ” said Jerry Brown, director of media relations at St Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
Erin Pfeifer said the best part for her, as his mother, has been watching Dylan grow despite the isolation caused by the pandemic.
“It’s been hard to interact with people, especially now, so this provides a safe way to do that. I just wanted to provide him a way to make an impact, ” she said.