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VIRGINIA BEACH -- Delegate-elect Bill DeSteph has come to the aid of a local food pantry that was damaged in a fire Friday.

DeSteph organized electricians and builders to help make repairs to the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center on Virginia Beach Blvd. after an electrical fire in the kitchen refrigeration units handicapped meal operations.

Director Todd Walker said the the building sustained some minor cosmetic damage.

'But the real problem for us was the loss of the refrigeration systems in our kitchen, which serves meals to our residents, as well as members of the community that need help. The less-fortunate people in our community have a genuine need and depend on us to help them meet it,' Walker said.

DeSteph called on workers from P.M. Electric of Virginia Beach and Oceanside Builders to make repairs.

The shelter now needs to replenish it's food donations.

According to Development Director Peggy Homesley, the only problem facing the shelter at this point, 'is the lack of perishable food that had to be thrown away or refused because we didn't have the means to store it properly. The shelves in the store room and the refrigerator are emptier now than I've ever seen them, and that makes me nervous as we face another holiday season with the need greater than ever.'

Homesley says the shelter is always in need of grocery items, perishable items such as milk, juice and produce, as well as clothing and toys for the children during the holidays.

Donations can also be made online through the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center's website, dropped off at their location at 1053 Virginia Beach Blvd. or call 757 491-2846.

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