Most kids ask for toys on their birthday, but a Guelph boy used his special day to raise food and money for the local food bank.

Every year since Ethan Millman turned six, he has asked family and friends going to his birthday party to bring a food donation for the Guelph food bank instead of a gift.

“It makes me happy because I know people won’t be that hungry,” said Millman.

Millman turned 11-years-old on March 3, which marked his most successful fundraiser yet.

He surpassed his $1,500 goal by raising over $2,500 and collected boxes full of food for the food bank. Millman said donations came in over the course of about a month.

“Every dollar feeds two meals, so that’s, like, over 5,000 meals,” said Millman. "A lot of people should know and value how much food is worth.”

Pauline Cripps with the Guelph food bank said they are seeing an unprecedented low in their stock, so monetary donations help a lot.

“For every dollar, it goes at least double as far as it would go on a normal shopper’s budget because we have a stronger buying power due to our network connections,” said Cripps.

Cripps said they are seeing an increase in the number of people accessing their services, so she appreciates any kind of support during these trying times.

“Cost of living, inflation on the rise, food prices, everything coming at once. We’re seeing donations substantially lower than they normally are,” she said.

Millman said he’s more than happy to help and feels incredibly lucky for what he has.

“Every year things are getting more expensive, and people can’t buy the things they need with their money,” he said.

His mom, Bobbi Millman, said she’s proud of her little boy and his generosity.

“He just has an awareness, and he’s so grateful,” she said, “He doesn’t ask for things. He just tries to think of what I can do for other people, what can I do to help, what can I do to give, and so almost he’s generous to a fault in a way.”

Millman is encouraging other people to host their own birthday food drive fundraiser. He is already planning to host another fundraiser next year with an even bigger goal.

Click through the gallery below to see photos from past years: