East Texan passing it on

By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - 'Tis the season of giving for several East Texas businesses. Meals on Wheels feeds thousands each day. By the end of the year, the East Texas Food Bank will have distributed 17 million pounds of food. Thursday, they were the ones receiving a gift, and it is the past of one man that helped make it happen.

"There were times when I didn't have money to feed myself and my son," said Tyler resident Charles Boyte. A rocky divorce in the 90's left Boyte struggling to care for his family. "I had to make a decision then. My son was the one that ate. I did without."

The years Charles spent without necessities led to an act of kindness. He rounded up support from his company, Edge Medical Supply, and the help of the community.

"We [present] to you guys, these two vehicles and an additional 1500 dollars in cash," said Brian Bersano, the owner of Edge Medical Supply. "These vehicles will be used to take some older vehicles off the road," said Mike Powell, the Executive Director of Meals on Wheels. "It just allows us to prevent waiting lists for meals. Our main focus is to make sure people who need a meal get one today."

The giving did not stop there. They packed a van full of food, and gave it to The East Texas Food Bank.

"This food will go a long, long way to help us. This time, with the economy like it is, the food is flying out of the food bank," said Jim Rice with the food bank.

In a day of giving, Boyte said there's one more thing he hopes to do.

"To increase the awareness of the need in our community. Especially with the economy like it is now. One of the things that I've learned with this is that when your family is in need you can't be too proud. You have to step up and ask for the help. But on the same hand, there has to be plenty of people that want to give back," said Boyte.

He says giving may be the best gift this holiday season. If you want to donate some of your time, money, or food, The East Texas Food Bank and Meals on Wheels told us they are both in need of volunteers.

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