9-year-old South Jersey boy creates the 'Hunger Reliever Team'

SWEDESBORO, New Jersey, (WPVI) -- When a 9-year-old from South Jersey learned the scope of hunger in America, he jumped into action.

Rocco Salamone of Swedesboro, New Jersey, has an orange belt in karate and even wrote his very own book series. So getting this busy boy through a pandemic without a project was going to be tough. Little did he know an idea would come to him, all because of a box of Mini-Wheats.

"So Rocco read on the back of a cereal box that one in seven children suffer with hunger and it really made him sad," said Nicholl Salamone, Rocco's mother.

He was determined to make a difference.

"I gotta fix this, I got to make a team," Rocco said.

And he did. He created the "Hunger Reliever Team" and invited 15 of his friends to participate.

"I will get donations and food from markets and donate it on November 1," he said.

"His goal was to fill the driveway with food," Nicholl said.

Rocco and the team do their own grocery shopping with the cash donations, and soon the team will drop them off at their local food bank.

"Rocco has a really big heart, so I wasn't surprised that he wanted to do something to help others," said Nicholl.

"Good things can bring other people together," said Rocco. "When times get tough and things get a little negative, too. But when we shine the light, everybody is happy."

"We're just really proud of him," said Nicholl.

"Yeah really, really proud," said Michael Salamone, Rocco's father.
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