George Berry and the House of Mercy Food Collection Program honored as Gainesville Heroes

April 13, 2015

On Wednesday April 8, 2015, during a Town Hall Meeting held at Bull Run Middle School, I honored George Berry and the House of Mercy Food Collection Program volunteers for their service to the community with a Gainesville Hero Award.

George Berry has been a resident of the Parks at Piedmont Community since 2005 and is a valuable asset to the Gainesville District. Eight months ago, George recognized a need for a dedicated right turn lane onto Heathcote Blvd from Old Carolina Road. For those eight months, George worked tirelessly with County Transportation staff and VDOT staff to remedy the issue. He never gave up, even when he found himself faced with numerous road blocks. He was tenacious and his hard work paid off with a resulting dedicated right turn lane which will improve traffic flow along Old Carolina Road.

Pictured: Supervisor Candland, George Berry, and Honorary Gainesville Supervisor Bev Conolly

House of Mercy Food Collection Program was started by Pete Verfurth several years ago with just a few retirees from Heritage Hunt. Mr. Verfuth, a parishioner of Holy Trinity Church, was inspired by a church request for parishioners to bring food to Sunday Services to help feed those most affected by the recent economic downturn. The House of Mercy Food Collection Team was formed to assist with the food collection. Almost every Monday, the House of Mercy team picks up food at the Holy Trinity Church and delivers it to the House of Mercy for packaging and distribution. The House of Mercy expanded their food collection by partnering with Giant Food Store. Every Wednesday, the House of Mercy team collects surplus food at the Gainesville Giant. The House of Mercy Food Collection Team is currently led by Bob Castle and is supported by numerous, dedicated Heritage Hunt residents.

Pictured: Bob Castle, Supervisor Candland, and Pete Verfurth