FRAZEYSBURG, Ohio- The Watson family were named GoFundMe Heroes for battling food insecurity in their community.
Jason Watson, a PE teacher, started the community funded food pantry with his family in 2016 after realizing how many of his students were relying on school lunches and going hungry.
“I think we were just surprised at how many people struggle in this community. The children that come from homes that don’t have stable food sources and also this just being considered a food desert,” Jason Watson said.
The Frazeysburg town with just a little bit over 1,000 people does not have quick access to fresh produce and meat, however, the Watson’s has made it their mission to provide just that.
The family started giving free meals with their food pantry, but eventually turned its meals on wheels, while giving away free ice cream as well.
“When COVID hit, we couldn’t invite them in, all that shut down and we tried to be creative on how we can get a fun meal out to everybody and that’s when he discovered a guy in Columbus with an ice cream truck,” Anne Watson said.
But in the midst of serving free ice cream, they never expected to be named GoFundMe Heroes.
According to Kelsea Little, GoFundMe’s head of brand storytelling, the GoFundMe Heroes is a program that highlights people who are helping their community thrive while inspiring others.
“One of the most incredible things I learned after speaking with them is that they created this community food pantry and some of the people who were helped and were able to receive food from the pantry, actually donated to the GoFundMe to help feed even more people,” Little said.
The husband and wife said they originally created the GoFundMe to help make repairs to the ice cream truck and from there their story blew up.
The Watson family also consists of their daughter, two sons and dog, Bowie.
“It’s really fun being able to hand out ice cream and stuff and we just have a fun time in the truck,” the daughter Lily said.
Both of the son’s Pax and Skye also included their thoughts on how it feels to make such an impact on their community as a family.
“All the kids are really excited about it because they’ve never seen an ice cream truck and they’re like jumping up and down on the side of the road,” Pax Watson said. “We went to a drug rehab place and passed out to all the people there and they just got really excited and we talked to a bunch of them, and they got happy to finally have ice cream,” Skye Watson added.
The family said they are very thankful for all of the donations they’ve received through GoFundMe and that they plan to put the bright ice cream truck in the shop for repairs son for next summer.
Residents from the community can donate by visiting their GoFundMe page at GoFundMe/Heroes.
With the amazing above and beyond donations, the family plans to hopefully open a café one day.