The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 7, 2012

Volunteers help Horn of Plenty gather donations

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — More than 500 volunteers turned out Sunday afternoon to volunteer at the fall food drive for Enid’s Horn of Plenty.

Horn of Plenty, an interfaith, nonprofit food bank, serves 17 local agencies that provide food to needy families and individuals.

Cheryl Cooksey has volunteered at Horn of Plenty for “many years.” Cooksey said she originally became involved when friends asked her to help and use her design skills to help market the Horn of Plenty. Since then, she has gone on to other volunteer jobs. This year, she is helping coordinate volunteers and stock shelves.

“I believe in Horn of Plenty. I’m passionate about it,” Cooksey said. “No one should be hungry.”

Cooksey emphasized the helpers all are volunteers. Ross Maupin, a longtime volunteer, said the city of Enid put a new roof on the Horn of Plenty building at 121 N. 16th. He said the city has been supportive of the program, renting the building on 16th to it, since the the program began in 1982.

There are 60 different churches that volunteer to help gather food twice a year. Vice President Richard Eck said each agency that comes to the Horn of Plenty has reported a greater need each time than the previous drive. He said there is a greater need in Enid than before.

A number of agencies served by Horn of Plenty were assisting with the drive. Cooksey even brings some of her Autry Technology Center students to help with the drive, and she said after they graduate, they continue to come.

Although Eck expressed concern about how long the food will last, he was enthusiastic about the Sunday’s drive.

The biggest demand for the 30-year-old agency is for baby food, cereal, peanut butter, jelly and tuna, said Pat Brown, president of Horn of Plenty. There were more than 50 routes to be covered Sunday, and Brown was out collecting food during the afternoon.

“Monetary donations are always accepted,” she said.

Volunteers fill the shelves at the former fire station on 16th; there’s also a nearby building for storage. If there is too much food, there is an off-site warehouse where food items also are kept, Eck said.

Horn of Plenty serves 17 local agencies: Abundant Life Family Center, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Drummond Pantry, Garriott Road Church of Christ, Head Start, Hope Outreach, Inner City Ministries, Living Word Fellowship, North Garland Church of Christ, Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church, Salvation Army, Sandra Beasley Independent Living Center, Shepherd’s Cupboard/Bethany United Methodist Church, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, University Place Christian Church, YWCA of Enid and Zoe Bible Church.