Food For Families is an annual project for the Longhorn Council, Boy Scouts of America, H.E.B. Grocery Company, and KWTX News 10. Together with food pantries all across Central Texas, this one-day food drive collects non-perishable food and stocks the shelves of area food banks and pantries beyond the holiday season.
On the Friday before Thanksgiving, volunteers from the Boy Scouts, H.E.B. Grocery Company, and other community organizations collect food in 9 counties. Food For Families is the largest one-day food drive in Texas.
All donated food serves the people in the county in which it was collected. Central Texans have generously donated food and money totaling more than one million pounds each year for the past seven years. In 2016 alone, 1,834,598 pounds of food was collected.
Canned Meats, Tuna, Chili, Stew, Chicken, Canned Vegetables, Sugar, Corn Meal, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Cereals, Flour, Baby Food, Peanut Butter, Dry Beans, Flour, Rice
Be a part of this tradition and help your fellow Central Texans. Please donate non-perishable food products that people need most.
For a list of drop-off locations see the list under Related Items along the right of screen, or if viewing on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the article.
2017 marks the 28th anniversary of Food For Families in Central Texas. The rapidly increasing number of "new poor" appearing at area food banks and the plea from those food pantries for help prompted News 10 to initiate Food For Families in November, 1990. Designed to stock the shelves of area food pantries beyond the holiday season, Food For Families gathered 84,435 pounds of food the first year.
In several counties, no food pantry existed prior to Food For Families. Caritas in Waco and the Food Center in Killeen helped establish food pantries in the counties where none existed.
The project began as a 7-county drive with the Waco Board of Realtors joining News 10 as a partner the first year. H.E.B. Food Stores became the third partner in 1991.
In 1995, the Waco Association of Realtors left the project to pursue other efforts and the Heart 'O Texas Council, Boy Scouts of America became the third partner of Food For Families.
Texas Army National Guardsmen had been volunteering for Food For Families for several years but complicated federal legislation limited their participation. In late 1998, the Secretary of the Army granted special permission for the Texas Army National Guard to become our fourth partner. In 2016, the changing world picture and federal rules limited Guard participation. In the summer of 2017, the Texas Army National Guard was forced to focus their efforts on military duties and dropped out of Food For Families.
In 2015, volunteers from the Waco Scottish Rite helped Scouts feed the soldiers and other volunteers at the KWTX site. In 2016, volunteers from the Texas Scottish Rite helped in numerous other roles throughout Food For Families.
Television news reporters and anchors broadcast from every televised site. Volunteers from the Boy Scouts, H.E.B. Grocery Company, Texas Army National Guard are joined by other community service organization volunteers to help at the collection sites. The food collected in each county remains in that county for distribution by local nonprofit organizations.
Food For Families has grown to become the largest one-day food drive in Texas encompassing 9-counties with 18 televised sites in Central Texas. In 2016, Food For Families gathered 1,824,869 pounds of food. In its 27-year history, Food For Families has gathered 24,522,159 pounds of food.
Food For Families is an annual event sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, H.E.B. Grocery Company and KWTX News 10.
The Food For Families partners provide an umbrella of promotion and support for dozens of food pantries throughout Central Texas.