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Couple seeking donations for Christmas baskets

Dec. 04, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marsha and Fred Kitchen are working to continue her parent's passion of helping people by giving out Christmas baskets to families in need.

The baskets contain all the items need to make a Christmas dinner, Marsha Kitchen said. Her parents, Charles and Kathleen Thompson, started the tradition and WME Thompson's Food Pantry in Guyandotte 27 years ago.

The Kitchens took over the pantry seven years ago after her parents died, serving 120 to 165 people each month. They work off a meager budget of about $500 and fill in any gaps with their own money. But she said they are tapped out and need help to make sure the signature item is included in the baskets.

They have potatoes, canned foods and stuffing, she said, and will give the baskets on Dec. 15, with or without the meat.

"We were only able to do 65 baskets this year and we have everything, but we have no money for meat," Marsha Kitchen said. "We would like to be able to give them a small turkey or even a canned ham.

"My husband and I just do the best we can to purchase what we can," she added. "It gets in every fiber of you. It's something we have to do, want to do."

Those who want to help can call them at 304-525-6174 or 304-633-1053. They will accept turkeys or hams, but prefer cash so they can go and purchase the items in bulk. The deadline is Friday, Dec. 7.

The pantry is located at 226 Marshall St., in Guyandotte.