Saturday 04 Apr 2020

MacKenzie Hinson, A “Meals That Matter Hero”

A 12-year-old homeschooled student from Wayne County who is truly making a difference in the lives of many is now recognized by a national company as a hero.

MacKenzie Hinson owns and operates the “Make A Difference Food Pantry”, the youngest partnering agency ever with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Her food pantry located in the Grantham Community has served over 8,500 people in Wayne, Sampson and Johnston counties since it opened in April 2015. In May 2016 the “Make A Difference Food Pantry” served 1,134 people and gave out 48,000 pounds of food.

Hinson also serves schools with 65 children in her Back Pack Buddy Program and runs a mobile food pantry where she serves 55 senior citizens in 3 Senior Living Facilities in Mt Olive.

Most recently Hinson was the subject of a Tyson Foods Documentary about her and her food pantry’s efforts to stop hunger in her community. Tyson Foods returned to Goldsboro Saturday to join Hinson in hosting the 1st annual Father’s Day Weekend BBQ Competition Cook-off at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fairgrounds. The event served as a fundraiser for Hinson’s food pantry with Pit Master Ed Mitchell as the judge.


At Saturday’s event Goldsboro City Councilman David Ham presented Hinson with a proclamation recognizing and supporting her work.


Tyson Foods officially declared Hinson as “A Meals That Matter Hero”, and presented her a check for $20,000 to cover her food pantry’s rent and expenses for a year.


Tyson Foods also awarded Hinson a huge, custom, walk-in, three-door commercial freezer and a tractor-trailer load of fresh meat was donated.

“Double Trouble” placed first in the Father’s Day Weekend BBQ Competition Cook-off. The cooking team is owned by twins Larry and Gary Hicks who live near Airport Road in northern Wayne County. Second place was awarded to County Line Grilling run by Harold and Francis Jones of Grantham. The Dudley Fire Department which was among the last to enroll placed 3rd under the leadership of Vince Dova with the assistance of Cameron Jernigan.

Cooking teams arrived Saturday around 7:30 a.m. and later began cooking chicken quarters and baby back ribs provided by Tyson Foods. Complimentary hamburgers and hot dogs also courtesy of Tyson Foods were served just before noon. Music was provided by the Old South Redemption Band. Those who attended were asked to bring one non-perishable food item to donate to the food pantry. Hinson said, “Today’s event funded the ‘Feed the Kid’s Summer Program’ that will provide children a hot meal and non-perishable items once a week since only 18 percent of the children receiving free and reduce lunches will have adequate food during their summer break.”

Due to her work to help the needy, Mackenzie has been honored with the 2015 Girls of Merit Award; the 2015 Christopher Reeves Ghee Whiz National 1st place Community Service Award; the NC Governor’s Community Service Award; the Wayne County Humanitarian Award and the Terry Eugene Wayne County Public School Volunteer of the Year. Hinson said, “Awards do not matter, it is all about helping others and the way you make them feel.”

When Hinson learned hunger was right in her backyard she decided to start the food pantry. What started as an operation out of a church fellowship hall just over a year ago has now grown to serve more than 1,000 people each month.

Copyright 2016 Curtis Media Group. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.























































One Comment

  1. Faith says:

    Yay! It is always so wonderful to see young people making a difference in the lives of others in such a caring and compassionate manner.


Leave a Comment welcomes and encourages all our users to contribute and voice their opinions. We do not discriminate against any political or ideological views. In order to maintain a civil discussion, the following guidelines will be adhered to:

1.Profanity is not allowed. Comments containing anything that is deemed profane may be deleted entirely.
2.Hate speech will not be tolerated. Comments against a person based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. may be deleted entirely.
3.Threats will not be tolerated. Comments threatening harm or violence to a person or persons may be deleted entirely.

Goldsboro Daily News staff reserves the right to approve, edit, or delete any comments as they see fit based upon these guidelines. User-submit views and comments do not necessary reflect the views and opinions of staff and management of


Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation the Curtis Media Group Goldsboro Business Office and Studios are closed to the general public.  Our staff is committed to keeping you updated on this on-going crisis but we will be working remotely.  Should you need immediate attention, please call 919-736-1150 and press Option 6 to reach an on-call representative.

For complete coverage of the Coronavirus, please listen to any of these Curtis Media Group local stations:

WGBR - 1150 AM & 98.3 FM
WFMC - 730 AM & 105.7 FM
WZKT - 97.7 FM Katie Country
WSSG - 1300 AM & 92.7 FM - 92.7 JAMZ
WWMC - 1010 AM & 92.9 FM

or visit

Local COVID-19 Advice