JEFFERSON AWARD: 97-year-old man dedicates time, money to feeding people in need
Earl Wieting volunteers for Kentucky Harvest picking up food from restaurants seven days a week.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man has been volunteering for Kentucky Harvest for more than 30 years.
Sterling Riggs reveals that 97-year-old Earl Wieting is the next Jefferson Award winner, and Wieting does not show signs of slowing down anytime soon.
It's tough to keep up with him. Think about the fact that Woodrow Wilson was president in Wieting's early years, and Babe Ruth had just started his career with the Yankees.
The WWII veteran picks up leftover food from local restaurants seven days a week. "Even on Sunday," he says.
Wieting starts making his rounds around 9:30 in the morning and works until all the food has been picked up. He then delivers the food to Kentucky Harvest and other local non-profit groups. He says, "I started doing it in 1983."
Wieting got into the volunteer food collecting business at Churchill Downs before he retired from the racetrack. He says it bothers him to see people throwaway good food, when others need it.
"They were throwing it in the dumpster," Wieting said. "I got the manager and asked why they were throwing food away. I asked him if they were not giving it away to eat. That's how I started doing it."
He's been collecting leftover food since that very day.
"I enjoy it," Wieting said. "It gives me something to do, and I can afford to do it."
He says he spends about $60 to $80 a week on gas and doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
"In three more years, I'll be 100. I'd like to go ahead and do it for three more years, but I just don't know," Wieting said.
"Like I tell everybody, if I knew I would be doing this, I would have saved more money," Wieting said.
Mr. Wieting is a perfect example of what the Jefferson Award represents. Louisville is a better place because of his dedication and selfless public service to others.
Congrats -- you are now a Jefferson Award recipient.
If you would like to nominate someone for a Jefferson Award, CLICK HERE.
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