One man’s ‘big dream’ helps feed thousands of local residents

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:37 PM CST
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(KWTX) - The man who launched and led Food for Families for nearly three decades is enjoying retirement in Denver, but will be cheering on Central Texans, who he says he knows will answer the call despite the challenges this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The daylong food drive Friday has never been more vital because of the increased need resulting from the economic impact of the outbreak.

Former KWTX Vice President of News Virgil Teter founded Food for Families in 1990 and headed up the efforts behind the largest one-day food drive until his retirement in 2017.

This year he’ll be watching the drive from his home in Denver throughout the day Friday.

“I miss not being there in person to help with the Food for Families drive, but I know Central Texans have always answered the call to help their neighbors in need,” Teter said.

“I look forward to watching the outpouring of aid throughout the day and into the evening Friday as you support Food for Families.”

Teter worked on a similar food drive when he worked at a television station in Denver before moving to Central Texas.

He and then KWTX General Manager Tom Pears combined their ideas and passions and Food for Families was born.

Area food pantries, at first, thought the idea was crazy, Teter said.

“They said they didn’t think we could gather the community support to make Food for Families successful, let alone sustainable,” Teter said.

What happened over next 30 years even exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“Food for Families was a big dream when we started enlisting local pantries over 30 years ago. Many thought it would not succeed, but you have grown Food for Families into the largest one-day food drive in Texas and for that Central Texas you deserve all the credit.”

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