top of page

While most kids are gearing up for the unofficial holiday of summer break, Xavier had something different on his mind.


His friends and neighbors who might be hungry. 

Food insecurity in Watauga County is a staggering number at 13.8% of the population experiencing some form of hunger. Even more worrisome, children, who experience food insecurity at a rate of 25%. A statistic that just did not sit well with third grader, Xavier Tapio.

"I just wanted to help"

Xavier Tapio

3rd Grader 

Banner Elk Elementary School


small acts of kindness

can change the world


"I just wanted to help" explained Xavier through the rustle and bustle of his classmates. So he turned words into actions.

Earlier this year Xavier had a New Year's Resolution to conduct a cereal drive in order to help those facing hunger in the community. Classmates from Banner Elk Elementary School caught wind of the idea and the food drive took off. 

Beaming with pride, Banner Elk Elementary School Principal Justin Carver stated, "Xavier tackling this huge subject of hunger is a blessing as an administrator.  He was so eager to do this and if a kid wants to change this world for the better---lets rock and roll"

When the school year was winding down and the boxes of cereal were starting to pile up, Xavier had just the right idea on what to do with the boxes. 

On the last day of school, third graders marched proudly and collected all 135 boxes of cereal that had been collected and one by one, stacked each of the boxes to create a "domino train" 

Watching on, Elizabeth Young, Executive Director of the Hunger and Health Coalition stated "To us this means everything. Acts of kindness like these are what change the world, what changes our world and our community. We are just over the moon thankful for Xavier and his compassion"

"Acts of kindness like these are what change the world. 

Whether it be big or small, it means the world to us and our community"

Elizabeth Young

Executive Director

Hunger and Health Coalition 


After the domino train was set up, all classes from the elementary school joined in on the fun. One by one each class lined up in the hallway to get a sneak peek of the action. Xavier led the countdown from ten to one with the help of his classmates. Eagerly he tipped the first cereal box at the first sign of "one" and down went more than 130 boxes of cereal. One by one. 

An eruption of applause filled the halls as the last box toppled over. Not only had the elementary school conquered the elusive domino train, they had conquered hunger in their community. 

"Kids amaze me everyday and remind me of the good in this world.  I'm blessed to be a part of their lives and can't wait to see what happens."  explains Principal Carver. 


"Our family has

always had a desire to be kind to those around us. It is wonderful to see my grandson carry on this family trait"

Anita Wilson

Director of Operations

Hunger and Health Coalition 

The cereal could not come at a more perfect time.


Recently, the Hunger and Health Coalition has seen their "Breakfast Items" shelf left despairingly empty. A recent disruption in the supply chain from their distributor Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston Salem, North Carolina has left breakfast items off the shelf. 

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Our clients need that meal to start their day off on the right foot, especially children. This cereal drive will make an immediate impact on our clients" stated Young.

Fighting food insecurity runs in Xavier's family. His grandmother, Anita Wilson, is the Director of Operations at the Hunger and Health Coalition.


"Our family has always had a desire to be kind to those around us.  It is wonderful to see my grandson carry on this family trait." stated Wilson. "Xavier is so kind to his friends, and that makes me very proud of him" she goes onto say. 

As the kids packed up all of the boxes of cereal into the car for their journey to the Hunger and Health Coalition, it became clear that Xavier had done much more that day than just collect boxes of cereal. 

He had changed the world. One cereal box at a time. 

Thanks for changing the world Xavier. 


"I just wanted to help people who might be hungry"


-Xavier Tapio

bottom of page