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Hunger First receives largest donation yet: nearly $7,000 worth of groceries

VIDEO: Hunger First receives largest donation yet: nearly $7,000 worth of groceries

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}A Kingsport food pantry received its largest donation ever for this Christmas season.KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}Hunger First, a group that helps people who are in need or homeless, received nearly $7,000 worth of groceries.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}For a former marine who asked not to be identified, Hunger First is making a huge difference.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"Me myself, I don't claim food stamps,” he said. “So I would have nothing to eat if not for them."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}He injured his back while serving in the Marine Corps and lost his job several months ago.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"Then I was out on the streets,” he said. “It's actually my fiancé and I who are out here. We have a tent set up somewhere in the city."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}He said it was Hunger First director Michael Gillis who helped him out.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"The tent that I have set up actually Michael himself bought for me."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"Really?"

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"He donated the tent, he donated the blankets, he's donated everything I have."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}Gillis and his volunteers are also helping hundreds of others. They unpacked their largest donation yet, which Gillis expects will feed people through February.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"I'd say it'll take care of more than 1,200,” Gillis said. “We take care of more than 1,200 a month."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}The donation included fruits, vegetables and even hams for Christmas.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"You know, you would like for someone to have a nice meal for Christmas,” donor Jamie McCoy said. “So that's basically why we do it during this time."

{p style="margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"Places like Hunger First doing an amazing job, because without it we would not survive," the former marine said.

{p style="margin:0in 0in 8pt"}If you would like to learn more about or donate to Hunger First, visit their Facebook page here.

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