Brent Berry Food Drive wraps up with record numbers

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 6:27 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Brent Berry Food Drive wraps up its 14th year this week as they get ready to distribute the collected food to those in need. WHSV’s Bob Grebe spoke with Bucky Berry about turn out and how it’s impacting the community. The full transcribed interview can be found below:

BUCKY BERRY: Six county school buses, four from Bridgewater Foods, one from Turner Ashby High School, two 35-foot race cars from Timberville Walmart, Broadway Police, four to five man department collected at Grottoes Police. We coming in with about 2½ semis of food, almost 2½ tractor car loads. That’s the biggest one in history.

BOB GREBE: This is an overwhelming amount of food, generosity from the community.

BUCKY BERRY: Bridgewater is a giving community. It’s a low, a knit community, small community here at Bridgewater. Broadway Police stepped up this year to collect food at Walmart. They’re going to make it a annual event. Chief Miller and his staff. Bridgewater Police got a load of food, and Blue Ridge Christian School, Grottoes Police. Thursday morning at 9:30, between 9:30 and 10:00, we’re going to have between 75 and 100 first responders there unloading this stuff. Bringing in the State Police this year, JMU police, multiple departments. Then 4:00, TA’s bringing in a bus. That’s huge for Turner Ashby High School. Bus to the roof. Today, we even getting blankets. We got blankets on the bus.

BOB GREBE: What has it been like being out here from 9:00 in the morning, or even before 9:00 in the morning until 9:00 PM?

BUCKY BERRY: Well, got here this morning, 10 degrees. 10 degrees is like your body’s cold except you’re warm in the heart. Salvation Army put food on my table when I was a small child. Presents under my tree. Salvation Army’s been here since 1925. I know what Salvation Army does. They kept my family from starving. I started out with city schools. Then I said, ‘Well, I’m going to take it... start using buses, setting up in the store.’ This thing’s getting big. I mean, next year we hope to have more sites. I mean, we going to get it bigger and bigger.

BOB GREBE: Last year when I came out here, Bridgewater Foods had the $10 bags that just made it really easy for folks to donate. They ran out of them every day, so many people were buying them. I know they had to make special accommodations for this year.

BUCKY BERRY: Oh, they made more than special accommodations. They had made multiple orders this year, day after day. It’s probably over a thousand bags. Not only that, they collected bags back in July. Actually, the food drive started in November. It was about 80 bags a week they was making. So this has been about a two month operation.

BOB GREBE: All right, so this thing’s going to roll out of here Thursday morning at 9:00. What’s that going to be like?

BUCKY BERRY: Thursday morning, 9:30. It’s going to be Bridgewater Police escort, in the end, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department, city police assistant. It’s going to be huge. I mean, it’s a lot of weight on this bus. You ain’t going to stop this thing on a dime. If we keep loading it, we might have to tow it out of here. That would be something to see, right there. My boy hates to see it come to an end. He’d take another 30 days. I mean, he gets up at 4:00 in the morning. I get up some mornings at 3:00. We get psyched up for this.

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