Holiday Food Drive Exceeds Expectations
HARRISONBURG — Area police and firefighters unloaded a Harrisonburg city bus Thursday that was stacked from floor to ceiling with food collected during the holidays outside the Walmart on Burgess Road.
The collection was part of the fourth annual Brent Berry and Salvation Army Food Drive that kicked off Dec. 15 and ended on New Year’s Day. The food was unloaded at the Salvation Army on East Washington Street in Harrisonburg.
Capt. Duane Burleigh, head of the city’s Salvation Army chapter, said the drive exceeded expectations. Burleigh said the community came together to meet the goal.
“It’s amazing when you look at what’s on that bus,” he said. “When you see all that people donated and the people that volunteered, you know what this community is all about.”
Last year, the drive raised $32,000 worth of food and money. This year, organizers hoped to top that mark by $10,000, said James “Bucky” Berry, who helps coordinate the annual campaign.
While the monetary value of the food hasn’t been added up yet, organizers say they believe they reached that number.
Some of the food collected will go to the Salvation Army’s shelter, which provides those in need with three meals a day, 365 days a year. Most of the food will go to the food pantry, which helps needy families in the Harrisonburg area.
Berry said he’s pleased with the results of the drive, which is named in honor of his son.
“There’s a lot of food on that bus,” he said. “This will be able to help the pantry so they don’t have to turn anyone away.”
Members of the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Harrisonburg Police and Fire departments spent about two hours Thursday unloading the food.
HPD’s community resource officer, Rachel Hammer, was among those helping.
“I’m shocked at how much food is here,” Hammer said. “I didn’t expect that it’d be floor to ceiling. [Berry] did a great job with the support of the community.”
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or email@example.com