12-Year-Old Fighting Hunger Gets to Be Michelle Obama's State of the Union Guest

Braeden Mannering is a 12-year-old kid on his way to Capitol Hill to be Michelle Obama's special guest at this year's State of the Union. Obama's speech reportedly will be tackling issues of income equality and hunger -- something Braeden has developed a brilliant plan to fight.

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Braeden started Brae's Brown Bags, or 3B for short. The idea is so simple, it's genius. He fills brown bags with healthy foods and bottled water and tucks lists of agencies inside the bags that help secure aid for homeless or hungry people. So whenever he sees someone in need, he gives them a bag.

Braeden started the 3B project in his Delaware hometown of Bear, but it's starting to catch on. The idea has spread to other schools and organizations, and, to date, nearly 5,000 Brae's Brown Bags have been distributed to folks in need.

Pretty amazing kid.

He got the idea after his first trip to meet Michelle Obama. Yes, he's already met the First Lady -- when he attended a Kids' State Dinner at the White House. When he thanked Mrs. O for the cool experience, she asked him an important question.

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She asked him what he would do to "pay it forward."

Well, he thought about how sad it made him to see hungry, homeless people and came up with the idea for 3B. Not only is Braeden addressing hunger and food insecurity, but he also makes sure that the food he's giving out is nutritious.

"Since the very first Brae’s Brown Bag I have decided that I only want to put healthy snack foods in my bags," Braeden writes about the project. "I have learned that a lot of the time homeless people or people who don’t have a lot of money usually do not end up having access to healthy food. I think this is important. I think they need nourishment."

Sniff.

So on Tuesday night if you happen to be watching President Obama's State of the Union address, keep your eye out for Braeden and his mom, Christy, whose work President Obama is undoubtedly keen to praise.

 As for all the high-powered recognition, Braeden says he's proud:

Well it's not something every 12-year-old will be doing, I know that. And it actually makes me feel proud. It makes me feel proud that other people that I've talked to also have very good ideas and want to do stuff like me.

Something tells us this isn't the last time we'll be seeing Braeden rubbing elbows with big shots like the Obamas. Congrats to the sixth grader from Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, who will undoubtedly have plenty of fans waiting to see him on TV Tuesday night.

 

Images via Braes Brown Bags

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