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Why Some 10-Year-Olds Have The Drive That Adults Don't

Alice Ramsey started off donating her piggy bank savings, she then launched a school fundraising program. This week she flew to the desert with dozens of food hampers to share.

Alice Ramsey is not your average Aussie kid. As she wheels her bright yellow luggage bag out of Alice Springs airport she tells 10 daily, “I’m here to help feed the hungry this Christmas.”

In addition to her iPad, fluffy headphones and her purple folder which holds her “project plans” her luggage also includes 50 large food hamper boxes which will be distributed to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

“It’s Christmas time and lots of people want to be with their families but they don’t have enough food to share,” she said

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Alice is food relief agency Foodbank’s youngest ever ambassador. News of the Sydney suburban school girl started spreading after she donated her savings to the homeless in the CBD.

She also runs a fundraising program at her after school care centre, where she sells food-themed colouring in stencils to her friends and peers.

“I am excited to see a 10-year-old who has such a generous heart and, moreover not only is she doing something, she is sparking conversations among her peers,” Foodbank CEO Brianna Casey said.

Alice is in Alice Springs at a time of year that is especially humid and dry, and local charities have seen a spike in the number of families needing help.

“Last year we had about 222 families register, this year we are just approaching 300 that’s a huge increase in people seeking assistance and wanting help this Christmas,” Stuart McGifford from Salvation Army, Alice Springs told 10 daily.

All day families come through the Salvation Army doors to access the hampers and other dry grocery goods donated by the local community.

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McGifford said their policy ensures that “nobody gets turned away, even if we can only give them something small.”

Alice works for hours, getting to know the locals, each with a story to tell. And she assists them as they stock up for the festive season.

Local Ian Grimm missed out on a hamper, but he’s collected a bagful of other food items.

“Without them we are going to be struggling and without them this Christmas there is going to be nothing on the table for the kids,” he said.

The stats from the 2018 Hunger Report paints a dire picture for those who need access to food the most.

Regional and remote areas like Alice Springs are among the worst hit -- Australians living here are 33 percent more likely to struggle to put food on the table

“One of the real challenges we have with fresh fruit and veggies is getting them into these remote town camps and communities. We are really working hard to access a lot more fresh fruit and veg to supplement the grocery products,” Casey said.

Virgin Australia partnered with Foodbank to fly the hampers to the desert ahead of Christmas. They will also match and double the amount Alice raises at school.

“It just makes me feel happy because it means that I’m helping people,” Alice said.

Contact the author alattouf@networkten.com.au

Featured image: Antoinette Lattouf