The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 13, 2013

Scout donates food to Horn of Plenty

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Alex McCormick, 17, has wanted to be an Eagle Scout since first becoming a Scout and learning his father was one.

He may have finished his last hurdle Sunday when he donated 560 food items to Horn of Plenty.

McCormick’s Eagle Scout project was designed to show leadership and the ability to work with others. McCormick organized the project, thought it through and got about 20 of his friends and family to help collect the food in his hometown of Breckinridge. He collected mostly vegetables, pasta and some canned meat.

He had worked on and planned the project for the past two months.

“I wanted to do something like this, and there weren’t any soup kitchens or pantries in Breckinridge or Garber,” McCormick said.

His purpose was to give food to people who may not make it on their own.

McCormick learned of Horn of Plenty while doing research, and also from one of his teachers at Autry Technology Center, Cheryl Cooksey. McCormick is a student in her Garber classes.

“I talk to my students about being a good citizen, and some of the things I’m involved with,” said Cooksey, a Horn of Plenty board member.

“He collected a lot of food and is working very hard,” Cooksey said. “He’s a good all-around kid. He’s involved in band and athletics at Garber.”

Cooksey said Horn of Plenty still has food. However, the next food drive isn’t until April, and food supplies are starting to get low. The top four items, including peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese and canned meat, go first.

“(Horn of Plenty) went through a lot of food since the fall food drive,” Cooksey said. “We help a lot of places; We don’t give food to individuals, but to agencies. Some have closed since Loaves and Fishes opened, but they have applied to be one of our agencies.”

Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scout program, was introduced in 1911. It has been earned by more than 2 million young men, and it is held for life. Requirements for Eagle Scout include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout spirit through the Boy Scout oath and law, service and leadership. The badge includes an extensive service project that the scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.

Horn of Plenty is an interfaith non-profit food bank that provides food items to other organizations in the Enid community and surrounding towns. It does not distribute food directly to individual families. It is an independent corporation and not affiliated with national food banks. However, it encourages member agencies to become members of the Oklahoma City Regional Food Bank. It does this by sharing half the costs of the purchases agencies make each month through reimbursements.

Upon its inception in 1982, Horn of Plenty was recognized as the only food bank in the nation operated solely by community volunteers. Horn of Plenty has never paid any salaries, nor charged any fees for food given to its member churches or agencies.