Baylor Collects 'Food For Families' Despite Cold Weather

Nov. 22, 2000

Despite less than perfect weather conditions, more than 100 Baylor volunteers stayed warm from sun up to sun down by collecting and loading thousands of pounds of non-perishable food items into banana boxes as part of the annual Food for Families food drive, the largest one-day food drive in Texas.

A total of 76,000 pounds of food was collected at the Baylor site on Friday, Nov. 17, which will benefit Caritas and Salvation Army. This was Baylor's second year to participate in the event. Nearly 300 tons was collected at sites located throughout Central Texas.

KWTX-TV Channel 10, the Waco television station that initiated the food drive in November 1990, broadcasted around the clock from the Baylor site in the Ferrell Center parking lot. In addition to Baylor, other partners in the event included H.E.B., the Heart 'O Texas Council Boy Scouts of America and the Texas Army National Guard.

Jessica Truglio, Baylor's community service coordinator in the student activities office, said she was pleased with the food drive results. She said there were approximately 150 volunteers throughout the day.

"I have heard lots of really good things," she said. "The students who were out there working have said they had a great time."

This year, one student group stepped to the forefront of Baylor's Food for Families effort.

Phi Kappa Chi fraternity was primarily given the task of manning the food drive because they were unable to participate in Saturday's Steppin' Out, Baylor's one-day community service project.

Jon Rolph, student body president and a member of Phi Kappa Chi, said the fraternity mistakenly planned a function on the same day as Steppin' Out. When they found out that Food for Families would take place one day before, they requested that they head up the labor efforts for the food drive.

"This is something that benefits the community and the people, and that makes it a real joy to do, especially working with friends," said Rolph, who was at the food collection site when it kicked off at 6 a.m. "I would encourage other students to get started in service early in their college careers because it helps the community and it helps you grow as a person. You don't want to miss those opportunities."

Baylor student Jamie Wedan, a junior from Dallas, said her first experience with Food for Families was a positive one.

"I've been impressed because we are really moving a lot of food and it's benefiting people in need," Wedan said. "It's actually fun to help and I would hope that if I were ever in need, someone would help me. It's a good cause."

Members of Baylor's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity helped with data input for competition totals among schools, churches and other groups.

Another big part of the volunteer effort was student athletes, including those from baseball, tennis and golf. These students participated as part of the athletic department's B.U.I.L.D. (Bears United in Life Development) program.

The combined efforts of the students with the thousands of pounds in donated food made for a successful event.

"Everything went really well," Truglio said as the event came to a close. "It was not the best of weather, but despite conditions, everyone came together. This definitely fulfills Baylor's mission as Christian university. It important for us to give outside of the Baylor community. It's what we are called to do as Christians."

Designed to stock the shelves of area food banks and pantries beyond the holiday season, Food for Families has grown to become the largest one-day food drive in Texas, encompassing 8 counties with 16 televised sites in Central Texas. In 1990, the drive netted more than 84,000 pounds of food items. In 1999, Food for Families gathered more than 380 tons of food, with McLennan County collecting 263,000 pounds. All food collected in the drive remains in each county for distribution.

For more information on the Food for Families effort, visit the KWTX web site at www.kwtx.com .

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