Eau Claire (WQOW) – This month’s Jefferson Awards winner is a man used to feeding the community almost every day.
However, there is one day this restaurant owner shuts down, so he can serve a hot holiday meal to those who would otherwise not have one. His name is Randy Schneider and he is the November Jefferson Awards winner.
Like most families, the Schneiders have a Thanksgiving tradition, and like most families it centers around some tasty turkey.
"Thursday morning we’ll come in and we’ll do all of the turkeys and get all the dressing, the mashed potatoes, the vegetables," Schneider said.
However, that food feeds someone else. For the last 20 years, Schneider has shut down his restaurant on Thanksgiving to prepare a special holiday feast for the elderly.
"We just love the people in Eau Claire and we get so much business all year from so many people, and it’s just a way that we can give back," he said.
Randy’s Restaurant works in conjunction with the Eau Claire County Meals on Wheels program. In all, nearly 200 people received a hot holiday meal this year complete with a flower and bags decorated by local school children.
"My main cook helps every year, so he kind of gives up his Thanksgiving to do that," Schneider said. "It’s really fun for myself having my grandchildren and my children and myself, so it’s become kind of a family thing for that too."
Like any great chef, it’s the gratitude of those he serves that keeps him coming back to the kitchen every year.
"We just really enjoy doing it," Schneider added. "Then we get the response of the elderly people and they really appreciate it, so that’s even a greater thing."
Schneider makes it abundantly clear that this is not an effort that he does alone. He gives a lot of credit to meals on wheels and the great work they do feeding the community year-round.
If you would like to donate to the program, you can do so here.
If you know a volunteer making a difference in your community, you can fill out a nomination here.