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Food pantries not hit hard by outages



CHESAPEAKE — Many in the county still without power after Friday’s storm have watched refrigerators and freezers packed with milk, meat and other perishables spoil in the heat. However, community pantries in the county that typically deal with food in bulk fared better over the weekend.

The massive storms put most of Chesapeake in the dark, but volunteers at the food pantry at the Chesapeake Community Center were able to rescue their larder.

Power outages were reported on the south side of Third Avenue, Brentwood and Rockwood Avenue in the village.

“Everything from the driving range (on County Road 1) to Proctorville was out,” Chesapeake Mayor Dick Gilpin said.

The pantry was scheduled to give out food Saturday morning, but had to remain closed because the power was off. Typically food is distributed on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays after the 15th of each month.

Instead, volunteers packed up three truckloads of food from the freezers at the center and moved it to the food bank in Huntington, W.Va., for safekeeping.

“We just missed one day,” Ruth Damron, center director, said.

Now the center has almost two weeks to get the pantry up and running again before it gives out food in July.

“We will have to have a refrigerator service come over here and look at the freezer,” she said. “When it goes out for any length of time, it has to be reset.”

On the other end of the village is the Compassion First pantry at the Chesapeake Church of the Nazarene, which had already emptied its freezers during its regular weekly giveaway.

“We gave out all the meat on Thursday,” Charles Bell, pantry director, said.

The power was out at the church for only a day and a half and did not affect the storage shelves of stables and non-perishables there.

Despite the heat Monday Bell and his staff was at the South Point Walmart holding an already schedule fundraiser for the four-year-old pantry.

“We have been running 70 to 80 families a week,” he said. “(Food) doesn’t last very long.”

Although sections of Ironton were hit hard, power was only off for a short while at the sites of the Ironton City Mission and Harvest for the Hungry pantry across from the First United Methodist Church in Ironton.

“I don’t believe the power went out to cause any problems,” Dr. Wayne Young, pastor of First United, said. “It went out, but not to make an impact.”


Lawrence County shelters and cooling centers


Ironton Shelter

First Baptist Church of Ironton

400 Vernon St.


Shelter 24/7 until July 5 morning unless extended. Daytime Cooling Center / Night time shelter


Chesapeake Village

Chesapeake Nazarene Church

817 Third Ave.


304-730-1263, Pastor Paul Merritt

Church will be providing daytime Cooling Center and Overnight Sheltering as needed beginning July 1 at 5 p.m. until the event is relieved. They are an approved Red Cross facility from past events


Cooling Center: South Point Village

South Point Fire Dept.

104 Eisenhower St.

South Point

(740) 377-4443

South Point Fire Station: drinking water, air conditioning, a place to charge electronics, and a place for a shower. Visitors must bring their own toiletries, towels, and chargers. Provided through Wednesday, July 4th from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Chesapeake United Methodist is already involved in a feeding program Monday through Friday for children, which will continue from 12:15 to 1:45 daily until school begins.