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Chesapeake basket giveaway goes smoothly

Emily Short, 7, fills food baskets with peanut butter at the Chesapeake Community Center. Volunteers worked for two days to fill the food baskets for the annual Christmas giveaway on Wednesday.

CHESAPEAKE — It was a steady stream of people coming into the Chesapeake Community Center Wednesday for the 26th annual food basket and toys giveaway.

Volunteers started showing up at 8 a.m. with the first baskets going out by 9 a.m.

Workers kept up the pace until 4:30 p.m. when everything was distributed.

“It went pretty well,” said Don Moore of the food pantry at the center. “We gave out every basket and had to make up some additional ones.”

The center gives out to those living in the eastern end of the county, starting at South Point and extending to Gallia County.

“There are four or more pantries in Ironton so we let them catch them,” Moore said.

The giveaway is funded from a variety of sources from collections from students at area schools, individuals, churches and proceeds from the annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Community Service.

In the past few years Moore has seen a shift in the demographic of those seeking help.

“The trend has been toward the older people for the last three or four years,” he said. “It is the older people who are hurting worse than the younger ones. They get a small Social Security check and a lot don’t qualify for food stamps and they have more medical bills.

“When we first started 25 years ago, younger families with children were the bigger group. But it is shifting to where it is the older people who are needing help.”