It’s that magical time of year

photo 2Today I brought 40 Brae’s Brown Bags to my school. They will be given to the Christina School District for families in need. I wanted to do something special because it’s the holiday season so I added holiday themed pencils and silver glittery snowflake ornaments to all of the bags. There is glitter all over our floor at home now. It is everywhere! Each bag also had a children’s book in it for different ages. So that meant we put a small sticker on the outside of each bag so that you know what age group the book would be best for before giving out the bag.

This morning I also opened a piece of mail that was addressed to me from The White House!

Can you guess what was inside it!?

077A CHRISTMAS CARD. Yes, a Christmas card from the President of the United States. When I opened it there was a super cool pop-up of the White House and it was signed by the President and his whole family; even the dogs.

I put the card in a ziploc bag and brought it to school. The ladies in the office took a picture of me with it. My Mom tried to take a picture with her phone but it is hard to see the card. Once we get a good photo I will post it for you. It’s really cool!


Oh and tonight was also my winter concert at school. I decided to join chorus this year and I am having fun. We made “Let Is Snow” sound jazzy! We even sang the song from the Home Alone movie and at the end we all put are hands on our faces like Kevin did in the movie and screamed. It was funny.

A letter from US Senator Tom Carper

braeden-mannering-tom-carperJust when you begin to feel a little sad that many people are not responding to your letters, you get a personal response from a great man. I met Senator Carper in July after winning the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and I really liked him. He seemed pretty cool. He does a lot to help people and he does a lot for Delaware.

He wrote me back and it made me feel really good so I wanted to share it with you. Many thanks to Senator Carper for personally responding to me about my 3B project! You should check it out and read what Senator Carper thinks are the “four keys to success” because he is very smart and what he says makes a lot of sense. I hope he knows that I think 3B is right and that I will never give up either!

You can read his reply to be below:

Dear Mr. Mannering:

Thank you for contacting me to share your efforts to increase access to healthy foods in Delaware. I was honored to meet you in July during your visit to Washington DC, and I appreciate you telling me more about your latest project, Brae’s Brown Bags.

Let me begin by saying that I am encouraged to hear from a young person who is passionate about addressing hunger in our community. As you may know, over 800 million people across the world are hungry, including an estimated 35 million Americans who struggle every day to put food on the table. One of the major challenges that we face, particularly in urban centers, is access to local, healthy foods. Having worked closely with the Food Bank of Delaware over the years, I certainly understand the importance of providing reasonable levels of funding for federal nutrition programs, which have proven to be vital lifelines for millions of low-income individuals and families. During my tenure in the U.S. Senate, I have consistently advocated for healthy eating habits and regular exercise. We should be doing all we can to support access to healthy foods and encourage people to eat more healthful foods as part of their daily diets.

I am impressed with the success of the 3B program. By packing brown bags full of healthy snacks and bottled water and handing them out of the neediest in the community, you are truly serving ‘the least of these’ in our state. During my tenure in public service, I have always sought to fulfill my four guiding principles on behalf of the people of Delaware. I call them the four keys to success. First, I ask myself, “What is the right thing to do?” Not “what is the easy thing to do” or the “expedient thing to do.” “What is the right thing to do?” Second, I try to focus on excellence in everything that I and the team that I lead undertake. I like to say, “If it isn’t perfect, make it better.” Third, I believe that we should treat others the way we would want them to treat us. And finally, when I know that I’m right, I never give up.

I wish you the best of luck as you continue in your efforts to improve access to healthy foods in Delaware. You are truly finding a way to “pay it forward,” as First Lady Michelle Obama suggested. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about other matters of importance to you. Keep up the good work!

With best personal regards, I am


Tom Carper
United States Senator

Talking about 3B on Good Day Philadelphia

photo on good day philadelphiaSo I was a little bit nervous leading up to the time I was going to be on Good Day Philadelphia, but once I was there and set up I felt better. This time I talked to Mike Jerrick @MikeFOX29 and to Sheinelle Jones @SheinelleFox29 and they were both very nice. I had a lot of fun. My Mom says they let me talk for awhile but to me it felt like it went by so fast.

I was able to show them all the different bags I have made which includes the regular healthy snack bag, the kid’s bag with a book, the winter bag with warm clothes and the work force bag which has toiletry items. I told them all about how I have given bags to the Emmanuel Dining Room patrons and to the Christina School District. I let them know that the UD chapter of Alpha Phi Omega has been very helpful.

So while we were there my Mom took pictures for Facebook and posted them using her phone. But when I got home and was able to put something on Facebook and Twitter there were so many people already commenting! We even received donations through the Facebook page. And my Mom got an email from a man named Mr. Harkin who has a store called Princess Gifts in Philadelphia and he has 200 books to donate to my project.

It makes me feel so happy to know people want to help 3B grow!

Thank you to everyone and many, many thank yous to Fox 29 and the Good Day Philadelphia team!

You can read about it and watch the video here:

Vote for me! I entered the Uncle Ben’s Beginner’s Cooking Contest

I entered the Uncle Ben’s Beginner’s Cooking Program Contest. Using Uncle Ben’s Rice I made what I called Brae’s Italian Rice Ball Casserole. It’s really tasty and it’s pretty good for you, too.

So the idea was to sort of create your own cooking show. And I had to talk about the recipe and the ingredients. I also cooked the casserole by myself! (Mostly!) My Mom helped me with the hot parts of cooking this recipe, and she handled the video camera. Thank you, MOM!


You can click on the image to go to the contest, watch my cooking video and vote for me to win. They allow people to vote one time per 24 hours period so bookmark the video and go make yourself every day by watching and voting.

The grand prize winner gets $15,000 (which will really help me with my 3B Brae’s Brown Bag Project), the winner’s school gets $30,000 for a cafeteria makeover AND gets to go to New York City to be on the Rachael Ray show!


3B went back to the Emmanuel Dining Room

Me and my brother Finn
Me and my brother Finn

Using some of the bags I packed with the University of Delaware Food Science Club, my family and I went to the Emmanuel Dining Room (EDR) yesterday and handed out 85 Brae’s Brown Bags to the people who visited.

A lot of people said thank you for the bags.

The best part was when a lady took one of the bags, left EDR and then came back. First she went up to my Mom and my Step Dad to say thank you but they told her that the bags were my project and so she came over to me at the table I was standing at to hand out bags. She tapped me on my shoulder and she said she almost cried when she read the insert that I put in all the bags. She must have thanked me 12 times for the bag I gave her and I really felt so happy that she liked it that much.

I’m not sure when we will be going back to EDR but I hope we can soon!

Thank you to everyone there for your help and for letting us hand out the 3B bags.

Volunteering at UD’s STOP HUNGER NOW event

Braeden at top Hunger Now EventMy Mom took my brother Finn and I to the University of Delaware last night to volunteer at a Stop Hunger Now event which as held at the Perkins Student Center. We were told that 25,000 people die each day around the world due to hunger! That is not good! But it made it all the more important to be at the event and work hard to help people.

1374279_10151625490571570_614126509_nVolunteering was A LOT of work! I mean A LOT! Me and my brother were actually sweating. Our hair was wet! The guy running the event decided that we should be runners, but unless you know the process of what we did you won’t know what a runner means.

So there were a bunch of college kids there and some of them put rice, dried veggies and vitamin packets into a funnel, which dumped the ingredients into a bag. The bags were put into little crates. when the crates were filled someone would shout, “RUNNER!” As a runner me or Finn would go grab the full crate and bring it to the weighing station. The bags were weighed and then sealed before being packed into brown boxes. Each box held 36 bags, each bag serves 6 people.

1011964_10151625498846570_1934086606_nWe packed 20,000 meals in 2 hours! Each time we packed a bunch, like 2,000 towards our goal me and Finn were allowed to go hit a big gong thing and it made a loud noise and then all the volunteers cheered and were really excited! It made me so happy!

October is “World Hunger Action” Month so if you are able to go help people in need or volunteer with groups you should definitely do it. it’s fun, it makes you feel good and it just shows you that every single person name really make a difference.

Thank you to the UD Food Science Club

photo-4I have a lot to say about the meeting with the University of Delaware Food Science Club. It was really a lot of fun. I kind of felt nervous at first.

I have talked to people about my trip to The White House and I have talked to people about 3B but usually it is only one person at a time. This was the first time I ever talked to a group. And these were all college students! Well, actually there was a professor and she brought her two kids. Her name was Ms. Kali. So the President of the Food Science Club, Krystal, introduced me to the group. Then I talked a little bit about why I was there and I showed them my presentation.

My Mom helped me make the presentation. I picked the pictures and the music and showed her some spelling errors. I must have practiced 5 times before going to present.

photo 1We packed bags with pretzels, cheerios and trail mix. All of the bags had the 3B insert and the 3B logo on the front. The group let me take home some so I could bring them to the Emmanuel Dining Room on October 6th. The rest of the bags are going to the Emmaus House in Newark, Delaware. But my Mom looked for their website to share and we think they might be called Homeward Bound now.

I just want to say thank you again to all the students in the club and to Ms. Kali and her kids. We packed A LOT of 3B bags and they will go to a lot of people who need them. It is really cool that they wanted to help.

My first board meeting

On Tuesday, September 10th I went to my first board meeting. It was for the Christina School District. A lady named Wendy Lapham invited me and she also introduced me. Her introduction was really nice. She even talked about this blog and Brae’s Brown Bags. I liked being able to shake hands of the board members.

Award received at the Christina School District board meeting
Award received at the Christina School District board meeting
They gave me this award, it’s like a plaque made of wood and with metal on it. It says my name and what I was being honored for which was the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

My principal and assistant principal attended the board meeting. Principal Speir says that on October 16th the entire school (Keene Elementary School) will be served my winning recipe the Tortilla Bowl Deluxe. I thought I would have to cook them all but the cafeteria is going to do that thank goodness!


Hi everyone, this is Braeden’s Mom writing now, I just have one quick message. Braeden and I are working on applying for some grants to help Brae’s Brown Bags get off the ground with a bit more momentum. We have found most grants require reporting and data to show how Braeden is interacting with the community and how he will continue to spread the word. We have created a Facebook Page for Brae’s Brown Bags and this will help us to say how many people we are reaching and interacting with at least in that respect. Plus it is a good learning experience for Braeden.

So if you are a fan of the 3B Project I encourage you to “LIKE” his page and share it with your friends.


Some news, plus info about No Kid Hungry

Some quick updates and things.

Today Elena from the Newark Post is calling to talk to me and my Mom. She’s going to write about my trip to the White House for the 2013 Kids’ State Dinner. I hope I can tell her about Brae’s Brown Bags, also.

Tomorrow I am going to the Christina School District Board Meeting as an honoree. They are going to talk about my trip and about 3B. I have never been to a board meeting.

My next Emmanuel Dining Room event has been set up. I hope to make more than 60 bags this time. I am going to hand out the bags on Sunday, October 6th.


Also, did you know September is “No Kid Hungry” month. The color for support is orange. I found out about this on Twitter. One in five kids in the US will go hungry today. That is a lot. That means maybe 5 kids in my classroom will not have something to eat. It makes me feel sad.

Find out more at the No Kid Hungry website,