DUNDEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — A fourth grader at Dundee Elementary School is on a mission to make sure none of his classmates go hungry, especially during the holiday break.
In 2019, his school nurse discovered many kids weren't getting fed at home and they depended on school meals to get by.
"She thought a bug was going around because numerous kids were coming in on Monday saying their stomachs were upset but actually after investigating, it was just that they were quite literally hungry," said Christina Rice, Randall's mom, "Because they hadn't eaten all weekend."
Nurse Palmer started a food pantry. She would fill backpacks with food and kids could take them home over the weekend.
Randall Rice Jr. wanted to take the mission even further and keep kids fed during Christmas break.
"I didn't want them to be suffering and I wanted them to have full stomachs and feel well," Randall said.
Randall has his 10-year-old boy tendencies, but mom and dad say he's an old soul.
"He's just always been a step ahead or possibly even more than a step ahead of what our expectations were," Christina Rice said.
According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 Michigan kids face hunger.
"That a child would go days without eating is just incredible and very sad to think about," Christina Rice said.
This will be Randall and his parent's third year collecting money. They took one year off in 2020 because of the pandemic.
The week before Christmas is when they purchase the food and pack up the meals.
"I hope you know we are very proud of you and you're an example to other children," Christina Rice said to Randall.
He blushed and shooed her off. Randall enjoys helping, but he says he could do without the recognition.
"That smile we get when he drops off the food, that's enough for me," Randall Rice Sr. said. "It's amazing."
If you want to help the students at Dundee elementary battling hunger, you can call the school at 734-529-2350 and they will direct you to the right person.
You can also Venmo Christina Rice at @Christina-rice-36.