MUSCATINE, Iowa–For most kids, spending time with friends and getting presents represent the best part of birthdays. For Peyton Story though, giving back to his community stood out as the highlight of his 10th birthday.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peyton could not have a big party like he hoped to. Instead, his mother, Tabitha Story, requested friends and family send him cards. Peyton made the best of this different kind of birthday celebration. Using the money he got, he started Peyton’s Pantry. “I didn’t have a birthday with all my friends, but I got a lot of cards with money in them and that’s what I used,” he said.
Peyton’s Pantry, located inside his mother’s laundromat, Park Avenue Laundry, provides non-perishable food items to anyone who needs them. Peyton wanted to start the pantry because, as he put it, “I’ve always loved donating,” and knew that more people than ever need food this year.
Already, people have begun to benefit from Peyton’s Pantry. As she watches Peyton tend his pantry and help people in need, his mother could not feel any more pleased with her son. “I was amazed by him,” she reflected. “It was a nice gesture–we always try to give what we can, and it just made me really proud.”
Since opening Peyton’s Pantry in late November, Peyton has accepted donations of food and money to keep the pantry stocked. “I feel really good about it,” he shared and wants people to keep donating to it because, “it all goes to people who need food.” If you would like to support Peyton’s Pantry, you may bring donations right to Park Avenue Laundry at 2102 Park Avenue, Muscatine, or donate via GoFundMe. Though it started as a way to celebrate his birthday, Peyton hopes to keep Peyton’s Pantry running for as long as possible.