Jefferson Award winner, May 2017: Fritz Kruger

MADISON (WKOW) — A day in the life of Fritz Kruger, is a day where no one goes hungry.

"You look at Madison and Madison’s a prosperous community. People just have no concept of all the people that are hungry around town, " he says.

It’s a town he’s never left behind. Fritz went to school here, raised his children here and 21 years ago started serving the people here, after some encouragement from his late wife.

"I retired and my wife said, ‘You get out of the house in the morning and not sit around here."

So, he started volunteering for Community Action Coalition and became a coordinator for the Gleaners program.

Food that would otherwise be wasted…

"All perishable food. We pick up from supermarkets, university conference centers, the union, Epic."

Goes to people who need it.

"Some of it’s going to food pantries, some of it’s going to low income housing, some of it’s going to meal sites. "

A million pounds of food a year is salvaged.

"The Gleaner program depends on Fritz. He was there from the beginning. He keeps it going," says Community Action Coalition Executive Director Jim Schroeder. "It’s a tremendous amount of work. These things don’t run themselves." 

And when there’s a need, Fritz finds a way.

"Fritz is a rainmaker for Community Action Coalition. Along with the gleaners, the fundraising he’s done for us over the years," says Schroeder. "Our food program leader says we need a new van, Fritz goes out and raises the money for the van."

He also volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Buckets for Hunger and Habitat for Humanity.

"I have virtually no skills in the carpentry field, so I am the Habitat painter, specifically doors," says Fritz.

For more than 20 years, Fritz has given back more than 20 hours a week.

Wayne Bisek with Buckets for Hunger says, "Everything he does he feels from his heart and because of that, he can get other people to help him out."

"I think everyone has an obligation to help their fellow man," says Fritz.  "What better way to do it?"

Community Action Coalition serves 18,000 people a year, which wouldn’t be possible without Fritz’s help. He’s helped raise more than $100,000 for the organization.

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