[Interview] 16-Year-Old Danny Loomans Wants to Break Food Drive World Record

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Photo: (Food For Freedom)

Lots of people like the idea of breaking world records, so how about breaking a world record for a good deed?

16-year-old Danny Loomans of Wisconsin is attempting to break the record for having the largest food drive in 24 hours in a single location at the Food for Freedom event — which means 559,886 pounds of food!

All that food would go a long way in helping people in need, and even if you don’t live nearby, you can still take part in the event. It’s all going down on May 25, so in preparation, we talked to Danny about why this issue matters to him, how people can help and how he manages to fit this into his already-crazy schedule.

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Photo: Danny’s flyer for his epic food drive. (Food For Freedom)

ACT: Why are you trying to break the record for the largest food drive in 24 hours in a single location? How did the idea come about?

DANNY: The idea came into my mind in February of 2012 when I was on a committee that wanted to break a world record. I found this particular record and thought that it would be a really neat event for us to pull together. The others decided that they didn’t want to take on the responsibility, and I took it from there and ran. I’m working so hard to make this event successful because there are 82,000 people living in poverty in five Wisconsin counties (Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Winnebago, Outagamie, and Brown)! To me, that’s not OK, and we need to take care of our own people. … After all, what would this world be like if we didn’t help each other out every once in a while?

ACT: There are many issues out there. Why are you interested in fighting hunger?

DANNY: Hunger affects millions of people across the country, and one  in seven go to bed hungry each night. I saw that there was a strong need in my community for positive change.

ACT: How do you have time to be a HS student and attempt to break a world record?

DANNY: Very carefully. I take virtual classes through the Wisconsin Virtual School which allow me to be more flexible. Even right now when I am answering this email, I’m staying up to gain extra time so I can complete my coursework. I’m also involved in many extracurricular activities which make things sometimes a little difficult, but I have learned that we have to communicate to each other, keep moving forward and be responsible for what we take on and what we do.

ACT: Where will the donated food go?

DANNY: All of the food will go to the 82,000 people living in poverty in the counties of Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Outagamie, Sheboygan and Brown. It will go to one main food pantry in each of those counties and then be dispersed to smaller pantries.

ACT: How can people get involved?

DANNY: People can get involved in a variety of ways. You can donate money via PayPal or send a check to P.O. Box 725, Fond du Lac, WI, 54936-0725. You can donate actual food items online at YouGiveGoods.com/foodforfreedom, which then sends all of that food here on May 25. Obviously some will not be able to volunteer for the event, but donating food through these two ways is the biggest thing you can do.

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