While researching a meaningful Eagle Scout project, I discovered through Deanna Boston, CEO of the Edmond Public Schools Foundation, the need for a food pantry to serve homeless public school students in Edmond. Edmund. I was excited about this project because it meets a growing need in my community.
I sat down with Andrea Wheeler, Edmond Public Schools Educational Services Coordinator, to discuss how best to use the money provided by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation and the city’s Community Development Block Grant of Edmond to provide services to children in need. We developed a plan to build an exterior freestanding structure on the grounds of Ida Freeman Elementary School and interior shelving in the Edmond Public Schools Administration Building. I had limited carpentry skills, so I enlisted the help of a family friend who is a carpenter and Eagle Scout, Richard Patterson.
After speaking in front of the Edmond Public Schools Foundation Board and getting Wheeler’s help in getting Edmond Public Schools endorsement, I found a plan online and started ordering and pricing equipment. I organized a group of my scout troop and, under Patterson’s supervision, we began construction.
It was a tough project, and we learned how to waterproof the outdoor pantry and shingle roof. We put slits in the doors and in the back to allow air to circulate and keep the pantry cool. I also learned how to contact and work with departments in our schools and with community partners to achieve a common goal. This opportunity has been a blessing for me to be able to help schools and the community in this way.
At the outdoor pantry people can take what they need and leave something if they can. The indoor pantry of the Edmond Public Schools administration building will be used for storage, as well as distribution to school students and families in need. Student Ambassadors from the Edmond Public Schools Foundation held a food drive to initially stock the pantries.
It was a wonderful experience. I learned that many students in our schools are homeless and need help. I also learned that there are many wonderful people working to improve the lives of our community. I am grateful to those who volunteered to help me, Scout Troop 386, Patterson, Edmond Public Schools Foundation and its student ambassadors, Wheeler and Edmond Public Schools.
I hope the community will continue to support the pantry. If you are interested in donating, email Andrea Wheeler at [email protected] or drop by the outdoor pantry.
Adam Easton is an Eagle Scout candidate for Troop 386 in Edmond.