By Ginger DeShaney
Campbell Marchant has been in South Boston since March 2022, but he’s already making an impact on the neighborhood.
After getting the lay of the land last November and not wanting to step on any toes, Campbell launched his first Southie Kids Food Drive 12 days before Thanksgiving, raising $7,000 for 700 meals for kids at the Condon, Tynan, Excel High School, and more.
This year, his goal is to raise $30,000 for 2,000 meals for Boston Public Schools students and others in need. He’s already at $10,000 and has a Southie Kids Food Drive fundraiser at Capo on Nov. 9 from 6-9 p.m.
“I’d like everyone to be aware of the work we are doing. We’ve put long hours into this and are hoping those long hours will pay off with a lot of full bellies this Thanksgiving,” said Campbell, 27. “But we can’t do that without the help of everyone else.
“We’re trying to positively impact the kids who are the future of the community as well as support the backbone of South Boston, the small family-owned restaurants and businesses.”
According to the Greater Boston Food Bank, in 2022, 33 percent of Massachusetts households – or one in three – faced food insecurity. “This means that a child was hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there wasn’t enough money for food,” the report states.
While living in Springfield in 2021 and seeing so many people affected by COVID-19, Campbell wondered what he could do for the community. He decided to do a food drive and raised $6,500 in three weeks to purchase meals from local restaurants to feed school students and the homeless. When he moved to South Boston, Campbell, who works in software sales, wanted to continue the work.
He created the Seven2 Foundation and is waiting for final approval from the Secretary of State’s office. Seven2 refers to his football jersey number (72) at Longmeadow High School and Framingham State.
He has a natural affinity for talking to people, letting them know what he’s doing, and getting donations and raffle items. His parents, Tim and Peggy, were small business owners, so he knows the importance of small businesses to a community.
His event at Capo will feature a celebrity bartender competition, delicious food, a live band, and raffles, including items from the Celtics, Bruins, New England Revolution, Ochoa Hair Salon, Fresh, PKL, Lifted, and more.
And while Campbell is the main man, he gets lots of help from his parents, his girlfriend, Juliana Restrepo, friends, and even strangers.
“The community has really stepped up; everyone wants to be a part of this,” he said. “I’m so appreciative of the support. It also shows how proud everyone is to call Southie home.”
Campbell reaches out to school and club officials who select the kids for meals. Campbell and his crew will then pick up the meals from places like Fresh, Rondo’s, McGoo’s, Cafe Portobello, and others and drop them off.
Campbell’s nonprofit aspires to be “patchwork people,” a small group of people who change your life for the better (enough that you’d create a patch of them on a quilt). “We want to be patchwork people for the kids that need us.
“We are trying to incorporate our community in all ways: collecting donations from friends and family, supporting local restaurants, and providing assistance to students.”
Looking ahead, Campbell wants to do a 5K or golf tournament and raise money for sports camps for kids in need. “In the future as we continue to grow, we’ll be able to do more for these kids.
“We want to support these kids and let them know that somebody cares about them and we’re looking out for them,” Campbell said.
- Instagram: @SouthieKidsFoodDrive
- Website: https://www.theseven2foundation.org/
- To donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/southie-kids-food-drive
- To buy tickets to the Nov. 9 event: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/theseven2foundation