Virginia Beach, Va. - At Coastal Community Church in Virginia Beach, you'll find a lot of activity throughout the week at the church's food pantry. The person behind it all is Linda Xenakis.
It all started about four years ago out of Linda`s home and then within a few months she approached the church saying she wanted to do a food pantry and over the years, it`s grown into a thriving volunteer operation. She says they see people who find themselves in various situations, "There`s a lot of people. It`s not just homeless people; it`s a lot of people we help that can`t make a car payment, can`t make the mortgage, can`t pay their light bills. Some of the people who come in, they cry because they don`t have any food and we hear lots of stories you know, people have lost their jobs."
For Linda, this is something she has experienced herself nearly 40 years ago when she and her husband hit challenging times.
"And we came to the point where we didn`t have food and we needed food and so we had to depend on others to help us out," she says.
They were able to turn things around and since then she has poured her heart into the pantry, which her friend Katee Morales wrote about in an email she sent to NewsChannel 3 when she nominated Linda for a People Taking Action award.
Linda was surprised, thankful and credited her fellow volunteers, "I certainly couldn`t do with all the help I`ve got. It`s just a very large operation and it takes a lot to get the food out to this many people."
We also presented her with a $100 Visa gift card from our community sponsor Southern Bank, to which Linda responded, "Oh, that`s awesome. That`s awesome! Buy a lot of macaroni and cheese!"