Rocky Fork Enterprise

Sixth-grader collecting cereal, bars to help hungry children

Enlarge Image Request to buy this photo
Twelve-year-old Alex Baker, a Gahanna Middle School East sixth-grader, is collecting cereal and cereal bars as part of a community-service project to help feed hungry children.

Gahanna Middle School East sixth-grader Alex Baker wants cereal and cereal bars to help feed breakfast to hungry children this summer.

The 12-year-old was looking for a community-service project to prepare for his August bar mitzvah when he learned that eight out of the 11 schools in Gahanna serve free breakfasts to students during the week.

Although Alex knew many students received free or reduced-price lunches, he had never really thought about breakfast because his former elementary, High Point, and Middle School East are two of the three schools that don't serve breakfast.

"I wondered what happens when they can't go to school during the summer," he said. "I contacted GRIN (Gahanna Residents In Need) and found out cereal is one of the main things they need in the summer."

Alex went into action with a cereal and cereal-bar drive, and he already has collected more than half of his 600-cereal-boxes goal.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 26, he's asking neighbors to drop off cereal donations to his home, 909 Taurus Ave, in the Rose Run/Bryn Mawr neighborhood.

Alex will have friends help him pick up donations from neighbors who can't drop off items.

Prior to the neighborhood collection, Blacklick and High Point elementary schools, Middle School East, Stonybrook Preschool, the Gahanna YMCA, Temple Beth Shalom, Yudu Salons and even his archery club, Ace Archers Johnstown, served as collection sites during the week of April 7-11.

Blacklick held a one-day-only cereal drive, collecting 330 boxes for Alex, as part of its own food drive for GRIN.

"Panera (Bread) is sponsoring a breakfast party for the class (at East) that collects the most," he said. "I also did announcements for my old elementary, High Point, and they're doing a cereal drive there."

Alex said his mother has been a big help with his cereal drive, as well as his friend, Emma Cepek.

"We've known each other since we were 4 years old," he said.

Alex is the son of Scott and Lori Baker.