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We are honored to give the 2022 Food Charter Champion Award for Community Infrastructure to Kayden Boilard.

In 2017, when Kayden Boilard was only 9 years old, she helped start a food pantry from her home with help of her parents, Kevin and Kristie. Their family effort, affectionately named ‘Kaydenz Kitchen’, began by delivering packages of food from their home to local families in need. Today, Kayden is 14, and in 9th grade at Lewiston High School, and Kaydenz Kitchen has grown to a 501c3 non-profit organization with a brick-and-mortar “free community resource center” in the Pepperell Mill at 550 Lisbon St, Lewiston. The model is sometimes referred to as a “free Goodwill” with the addition of a wide variety of non-perishable food items available for those in need. 

Kaydenz Kitchen takes pride in their food offerings, trying to keep a wide selection of non-perishable foods on hand, with a focus on staple meals. They have a grocery store model, which empowers patrons to make their own selections from the shelves. Kaydenz Kitchen also still offers delivery service for meal packages and emergency household items to individuals with disabilities or transportation limitations. New in 2022, the organization has a partnership with DoorDash that enables them to serve clients within a 10 mile radius (including parts of Greene, Lisbon, and Sabattus) free of charge. Kaydenz Kitchen has also been actively engaged with a local effort to create a new transitional resource center that would offer emergency shelter services and stabilizing resources for unhoused individuals.

Today, in addition to her schoolwork, Kayden remains actively involved in the organization – including in all discussions related to communications, partnerships, and growth. Kayden additionally envisions a future in which there might be a paid position for herself within the organization that would enable her to further dedicate herself to the mission.

If this wasn’t enough, Kayden has been an outspoken advocate in particular for unhoused individuals.  Kayden has given testimony at Lewiston City Council to advocate for the need for additional services for the unhoused. She has also supported unhoused individuals to raise their voice to request resources to meet their own needs. Last school year, Kayden received an award open to 8th graders across the state. In their comments while bestowing the award, Kayden’s teachers emphasized that Kayden was a consistent voice for “the underdog”. 

ABOUT: Each year, the Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn hosts the Food Charter Champion Awards by celebrating the contributions of five individuals or groups from the greater Lewiston-Auburn area who strive to create a more vibrant and healthy food system from farm-to-fork. Those honored with awards ‘lead by example’ in one, or more, of the five principles of the LA Community Food Charter. Learn more about the other 2022 Food Charter Champion Award winners here.

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