Mansfield boy, 9, collects 2 tons of food, $4K in donations for food pantries

“I thought of the people who didn’t have much and I thought maybe I could give back and help them.”

Belmond Schwartz with some of the food donations. Lily Schwartz

A 9-year-old from Mansfield has collected 2 tons of food for food pantries in his hometown and neighboring Easton. 

The boy, named Belmond Schwartz, was inspired to help when he went on a trip to California and saw people less fortunate than he for the first time.

“I went to California and saw people begging on the streets and living in tents. I asked my mom and dad and they told them that they have to live in those tents because they can’t afford to live in houses,” Belmond told Boston.com. “I thought of the people who didn’t have much, and I thought maybe I could give back and help them.”

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He first collected food in advance of Thanksgiving last year in 2021. He wanted to make his efforts bigger and better this year, so he and his parents, Steven and Lily, founded a nonprofit organization called Belmond’s Wish to collect food and monetary donations.


The organization has a Facebook page to raise awareness, and this year’s big fundraising push was a food drive event at Camp Maplewood which doubled as his 10th birthday celebration. With indoor and outdoor activities and food trucks available, they encouraged attendees to bring canned and non-perishable food for donations. They tripled the amount of donations received last year.

In addition to the 4,000 pounds of food, Belmond collected about $4,000 in donations.

Belmond hopes to do this for a long time.

“It feels good, it’s really good to help,” Belmond said.

He said he felt fulfilled after last year, but wanted to continue supporting the fight against food insecurity.

“I wanted to help again, and I felt like I could still help, help more. Not just help once,” Belmond said. 

His mother Lily said she thinks this will continue for a long time.

“He’s 9 turning 10 and he gave up his birthday gifts. He said he wants to dedicate his life to giving back, wants to continue this for as long as possible,” Lily said. “I said, ‘If you don’t want to do this anymore, I completely understand,’ because it is a lot of work … He told me he has plenty, he has enough gifts and toys, he doesn’t need anything. He said there are a lot more people out there that need this.” 


Belmond was awarded the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Big Heart Award Tuesday for these efforts. 

“He just really does have a big heart in everything he does,” Steven said. “He’s got a lot of empathy built inside him and I think he utilizes that in everything he does. That was why he was so affected when we went out to California and he saw suffering like that for the first time.”


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