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Free Food: Law firm gives away $8,000 in grocery gift cards to families in Norfolk neighborhood

The massive giveaway was at Berkley Supermarket on Saturday morning in an area that used to be a food desert.

NORFOLK, Va. — A Hampton Roads law firm organized a massive gift card giveaway for families to shop at a supermarket in Norfolk's Berkley neighborhood.

Outside the Berkley Supermarket on Saturday morning, it was first come, first serve, and families lined up early.

“Oh my God, when we pulled up, people had been here since 8:30 a.m. this morning, waiting for these gift cards," attorney Charlene Morring said.

The Law Firm of Charlene A Morring organized the giveaway.

“We started off with $2,800, and then Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers came in with $1,000, and today we’re up to $8,000 in gift cards that we’re giving away today to this wonderful community supermarket," Morring said.

Ty Bryant of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers said her team just wanted to give back to the community.

Charlene Morring also had another prize up her sleeve.

“We have an extra special raffle going on – one special person is going to get groceries for a full entire year courtesy of the Law Firm of Charlene A Morring," she said.

Morring decided to organize the giveaway after Norfolk City Councilwoman Danica Royster put out a call to action for the community to support Black owned businesses for Black History Month.

“This community was a food desert, and the Palmer family stepped up when no other grocery store would come and support this community," Royster said. "So we thought what better way to support those who supported us.”

For residents like Laverne Greene, the gift cards help in more ways than one.

“It will help in a lot of ways. It’s very hard out here now, it’s not easy at all," Greene said. “I think all of this is wonderful – to give back to the neighborhood; And also, I look at it like this: as you all are blessing us, we can in turn bless the store back.”

The Berkley neighborhood was a food desert from 2018 until 2021, when Berkley Supermarket opened for business.