WHEN kind-hearted schoolboy Ronnie Hazlie saw a documentary on television about food banks and people using them, he knew he had to help.
The eight-year-old boy from Gosport set out on a mission to collect tins of food to help stock up the banks.
He collected 92 tins for the harvest festival last year but this year he wanted to smash his record.
With the help of his mum, Katy-Jane, he set up a Facebook event and has so far collected a tin-credible 519 cans.
Katy-Jane, 37, from Albert Street, said: ‘Ronnie saw a documentary about food banks and he couldn’t believe that people don’t have food.
‘Since then he has been nagging me and everyone he knows to donate tins.’
Katy-Jane, a bookshop assistant, said that Ronnie even asked for tins as presents on his birthday on July 29.
‘For his birthday he said he didn’t want any presents, he just wanted tins,’ she said.
‘My boy gave up his birthday last year for his collection, and this year it has gone crazy.’
Ronnie, who is in Year 4 at Newtown Church Of England Primary School, in Gosport, said he never expected to collect so many cans but that he was pleased to help others.
He said: ‘I wanted to help other children. I watched a programme about it.
‘We have 519 tins. We are going to give the tins to other people.’
The Facebook event called ‘Donate A Tin For The Ronster’ has attracted donations from all over the UK.
People have been sending money directly to Ronnie if they are too far away, so that he can buy his own tin cans to give to the food bank.
Various Gosport businesses have also been happy to set up drop-off points.
Bookshop The Works, in High Street, Gosport took donations for Ronnie’s mission, as did The Vine pub in Stoke Road, Five Alls pub in Forton Road, The Green Dragon in Rowner Road, or the Froddington Arms in Fratton Road, Fratton.
Penny Woodhouse, manager at The Vine pub, said that regulars and strangers alike popped in to donate tins.
‘Ronnie’s such a lovely little helpful lad,’ she said.
‘He’s massively enthusiastic about what he does, from collecting food for the hungry to helping us clean up at the end of the day.’