Father, Daughter With Special Needs Donate Wild Game & Fish To Oologah Food Pantry

Friday, September 9th 2022, 9:41 am


A Green Country dad and daughter duo, who spend countless hours each year hunting and fishing, are sharing what they get in the field with their community.

Mike and Kenzi Burnside stopped by the Oologah United Methodist Church and recently donated some of the fresh fish they’d caught in their backyard pond.

26-year-old Kenzi was born with quadriplegia cerebral palsy and is dependent on others to care for all her needs.

That hasn't held her back though, especially when it comes to hunting and fishing. Kenzi is a pro whether in the woods or the water. And while a lot of what she harvests, or catches ends up on her family's table, sharing with those in need is something that's important to her.

Last week she and her dad delivered several bags full of freshly caught fish to the church’s food pantry. Kenzi caught most of the bass and catfish herself, then day cleaned it and froze for the pantry’s freezer section. The Burnsides also donate a lot of wild games each year.

“She's really good about wanting to share. She's learned well to share with the community to give back when we have extra. I've talked to her a lot about it over the years and she loves that aspect of it,” Mike said.

Pantry director Kerry Banzit said both she and the community are grateful for the donation. She said the pantry folks can stop by twice a week to shop for their families. The pantry serves about 100 people in the community and donations from people like Kenzi and Mike make a huge impact.

“Kenzi and Mike probably bring by deer meat at least once or twice a year and it fills our freezer and it's always so exciting to see what her next adventure's going to be and to watch her pour into her community. She's amazing,” Banzit said. "She's not just mounting trophies on the wall. These animals are being harvested for food and they're feeding our community. It's a win-win.”

The church hopes to expand the food pantry soon to serve even more people.

It always accepts food, toiletry, or monetary donations – those who would like to donate can find out more on the Oologah United Methodist Church website.

Mike, by the way, was just awarded the "Golden Donut" in Entenmann's Dads of Glory contest, which celebrates dads in their finest moments.

His wife, Janet, entered him in the contest showcasing his selflessness and special bond with Kenzi in a video submission. The title comes with $50,000 prize and free donuts for a year. He said he's going to put the money toward a new van for Kenzi and he’s going to share the free donuts, too.


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