COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An Ohio family is getting national attention on “The Jennifer Hudson Show” this week for helping fight hunger in their community.
The Watson family, of Frazeysburg, are set to appear on Hudson’s afternoon talk show Friday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. Parents, Jason and Anne, along with children Lily, Pax, and Skye, will share their inspirational story of starting a community food pantry, which led to a mobile free food delivery service using a repurposed ice cream truck, according to the show producers.
The show also noted that the Watson’s journey to battle food insecurity began after Jason, an elementary school P.E. teacher, and Anne, a school librarian, noticed “students at the elementary school were going hungry at home.” When COVID began, the family helped fill the gap left by missing school lunches by distributing thousands of free home-cooked meals and ice cream treats to kids and families in need. Employing the ice cream truck for their work had the added effect of lightening the heavy mood of the pandemic.
In an email, Jason filled in more details about the family’s continuing non-profit work.
“We deliver anywhere between 75-100 lunches to our small community of Frazeysburg, Ohio,” he wrote. “When the kids hear the ice cream truck music, they come running! We love seeing their smiling faces, getting to know them, but most of all, being able to make sure they have a good filling lunch that day.”
The husband and father of three also discussed the remarkable series of events that have shined a light on their commitment to helping neighbors.
“This past Summer we found out that we will need a new engine in our truck,” wrote the teacher. “We started a gofundme to help offset that cost. In doing so we were asked to be featured on the gofundme podcast ‘True Stories of Good People’ to share our story and what we do.
Kelsea Little, head of brand storytelling for the crowdfunding company, detailed in a statement what made the Watsons stand out among users of its platform.
“We believe at GoFundMe that help is kindness in action, and the Watsons embody that perfectly,” Little noted. “They are physically and figuratively spreading joy out in their community every day, and we hope that they’re inspiring their neighbors to make the world a better place.”
Jason added in his email that the GoFundMe podcast appearance was fundamental to what came next for the family.
“Because of that, we also got an article in People magazine which lead to being invited to L.A. to be on the Jennifer Hudson show,” he wrote. “The whole experience was so much fun for us! We took in and loved every second of it. But ultimately it was fun to just be able to share what we do for our small community and hopefully inspire others to see the needs in their community and think about how they can help.”
In a social media post on Tuesday, Jason revealed the upcoming appearance to friends with a backstage photo of the family at the studio where Hudson’s show is recorded. He summed up the incredible ride in the caption writing, “One more CRAZY story… because of our podcast with GoFundme, which lead to an article in People magazine, God opened another door and we flew out to LA to be on the Jennifer Hudson talk show today.”
Watch “The Jennifer Hudson Show” weekdays at 1 p.m. on NBC4.
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