JA 18 Under 18 2024


Makenzie made a mark on Carroll County families before she reached double digits. At age 9, Makenzie— now a junior, top scholar, volleyball player, and class treasurer at Manchester Valley High School—founded Hampstead’s Little Free Pantry, a 24/7 food pantry available to anyone in need without paperwork or intake process. She’s developed partnerships with other nonprofits to feed more people in her community, including with Westminster Rescue mission for 100,000+ pounds of perishable food items, nearly 3,000 holiday meals, milk vouchers through Carroll County Food Sunday, and veggie vouchers to the Hampstead Farmers Market. Charismatic, articulate, and a respected and sought-after expert on food insecurity, Makenzie conducts national workshops and has awarded grants for eight little free pantries across the country. Among her 40 community service awards are the Maryland Inaugural Youth Service Award and the Ellen DeGeneres and Cheerios Generation Good Award.

“Makenzie’s pantry is as well-rounded as she is. As with all her pursuits, Makenzie accepts whatever challenge is presented…and always takes the honest and ethical route in her words and actions.” —Katherine Hockstad, teacher

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