NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The owners of a family food business returned to their alma mater to provide a feast for the Tennessee State University football team after their practice on Aug. 9.
Burnice, Victor and Cardale Winfrey, all TSU graduates, play a part in the operation of Winfrey Foods, along with their sister, Karla, and another brother, Carlton. The family members served the players and coaches in a buffet-style line in the indoor practice facility.
“It was great to be back on campus and give back to the university and athletic department that has given me so much,” said Victor Winfrey, who played football at TSU from ’85-’89.
Before the dinner, Victor was presented a helmet similar to the one he wore when he played.
“I remember when I played how excited and grateful I was for any food or snacks we had after an evening or night practice when the cafeteria was closed. So, it really made me feel good to be able to provide a good meal to the young men, who were so well-mannered and very appreciative.”
Although she graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, Karla Winfrey took some history classes at TSU. She also enjoyed visiting TSU again, and meeting the players, who she described as “amazing gentlemen.”
“Over and over they expressed their gratitude and said they thoroughly enjoyed the special meal we prepared,” she said. “Coach (Rod) Reed is doing an outstanding job training America’s future leaders.”
Coach Reed and his staff were also grateful.
“Thank you Winfrey Foods for providing dinner for the TSU Big Blue Tigers,” Reed said. “Your food was outstanding, and service and fellowship was even better.”
Winfrey Foods was started about two years ago. Its signature item is Royal Relish Chow Chow, which contains mother Judy Winfrey’s secret ingredients, and is available in all Publix supermarkets throughout Tennessee. The relish is also popular among chefs who prepare food in the Tennessee Titans’ luxury suites.
A week after Winfrey Foods’ benevolence, a number of community partners set up tents and tables with free refreshments, food, giveaways and entertainment for new TSU students moving into their residence halls, as well as volunteers and visitors.
Among the groups were 15th Avenue Baptist Church, New Season Church, and Restoration Corner Ministry, which set up water stations and feeding tables in several residence halls.
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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.