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5-year-old helps out food pantry

Five-year-old Tommy Cannon, son of Mike and Jennifer Cannon, of Chesapeake is seen sitting on top of a van load of food items. Tommy took it upon himself to collect food to be donated to the Compassion First food pantry located at the Chesapeake Church of the Nazarene.

CHESAPEAKE — Throughout the year Charles Bell is the one giving to others as he runs his Compassion First food pantry out of the Chesapeake Church of the Nazarene.

But on Friday, Bell got an early Christmas gift when 5-year-old Tommy Cannon showed up with boxes and boxes of canned goods.

“This is fantastic,” Bell said. “You wouldn’t believe all that we got.”

Tommy, the son of Mike and Jennifer Cannon, was casting about trying to find the right gift for his aunt.

“She said ‘If you want to do something for me have a food drive and donate it to a food pantry,’” Bell said. “He’s been collecting food and had his classroom at Chesapeake Elementary bring food in.”

The food pantry started four years ago when Bell felt he was directed to begin that ministry. Each year since then Bell has seen the need for food increase in his community.

“Last year we took care of 4,700 people,” Bell said. “This year we are going to hit close to 8,000.”

And sometimes coming up with supplies is challenging.

“Tuesday morning we were worried about what we were going to pass out,” Bell said. “We were low on food. We prayed on it. I went back and Tuesday afternoon my assistant brought three truckloads of stuff.”

The food pantry is open every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the parish hall of the church.

“We love doing this,” Bell said. “It is a pleasure. God has blessed us. He always supplies. It is amazing.”