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Man in Tennessee helps hundreds of people in need get free pizza every week

Posted at 3:04 PM, Nov 18, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Every week, hundreds of people from around the world visit The Free Pizza Dude account on Imgur, created by a Nashville man, to either ask for food assistance or help out.

"I've been able to carve out this kind of wholesome side of Imgur where people come to my post to help other people," said Mr. Puckett, the virtual Imgur user with more than 7 million up-votes. "We had all of these people kind of wanting to help, but had no idea how to."

In August 2019, Mr. Puckett created The Free Pizza Dude page to help connect the people in need of a meal to willing donors.

"We're not trying to end world hunger we're trying to make people happy. [Those] who would not otherwise be able to afford this kind of food," said Mr. Puckett.

So far, the page has allowed people to send nearly 4,000 pizzas to strangers in need.

Mr. Puckett knows what it is like to be hungry.

"I had problems with alcohol and was homeless for four years before I got on Imgur. I knew if I ever got on my feet again, I wanted to do something where we could send food to people that wasn't rice and beans - that wasn't food shelf kind of food - something they could really enjoy and remember for some time because I always did and I always remembered the food people sent me," he said.

Through his website, pizza angels from all over the world have sent paid-for pizzas to strangers and fulfilled more than 100 detailed grocery requests too.

"Everybody wants to help, but they want to have fun doing it, and they want to have security that they're helping the right person, and I think we've done all three of those things," he said.

Mr. Puckett puts out a new call for pizza donations every Friday.

He said the reason he does this is simple.

"I was homeless for so long and so many people from my childhood days helped me. I needed help from every person in my life for so many years so once I finally got stable, and got an apartment and home I knew I had to be that person," he said.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper recently named Mr. Puckett a Community Hero of the Week.

This story was first reported by Hannah McDonald at WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee.