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Florida boy asks for food donations instead of gifts for his birthday to help feed families

11-year-old Jacob Staten has held his birthday food drive for the last five years.

TAMPA, Fla — Most kids will look for presents on their birthday, but not 11-year-old Jacob Staten. He's interested in giving gifts instead.

And this year, he is once again asking for food donations to help feed local families instead of gifts. It's a kind gesture in a time where help and acts of good faith are needed more than ever by those hit hard by the pandemic.

The idea was sparked five years ago when Staten spotted a man who needed help and decided to act. 

"There was this man who didn't have any food and he needed money and I felt really bad for him," he said. "And I realized that there's a lot more people like that and then my mom and dad helped me set this up for my birthday ever since so I can help people."

While Staten has held this annual food drive since he was just 6-years-old, this year, he is getting an extra boost from Tampa YMCAs and Feeding Tampa Bay. 

Boxes, where you can donate items to help Staten, have been placed at all participating Tampa "Y" locations until Dec. 1. All you have to do is grab an extra non-perishable item and drop it off at the nearest location to your home. 

All proceeds will go directly to Feeding Tampa Bay.

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