JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — The parent company of Winn-Dixie, Southeastern Grocers, paid for groceries for healthcare professionals and first responders during their shopping hour Monday night throughout their stores, including Winn-Dixie stores in Alabama.
This comes in response to actor Tyler Perry surprising every single Winn-Dixie customer in Louisiana by paying for their groceries during the senior and high-risk shopping hour. Perry challenged others to also pay it forward.
Southeastern Grocers says that inspired them to give back to community heroes.
Southeastern Grocers paid for the groceries for healthcare professionals and first responders shopping in all BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket, and Winn-Dixie stores Monday night in all seven of the states Southeastern Grocers serves. The grocer says this was to honor those working on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of customers were surprised with a $0 grocery total at the register during the health care professionals and first responders shopping hour.
Southeastern Grocers joins Tyler Perry in encouraging others to pay it forward and help spread kindness.
“Southeastern Grocers is dedicated to being there for the community when they need us the most, and we believe there is no better time than now to show acts of kindness. Our heroic health care professionals and first responders are on the front line every day as they work tirelessly to make our communities safer, and we want to do our part to thank them. We were inspired to pay it forward and hope to inspire others so we can continue to lift spirits during this difficult time. As a community, we are stronger together and will win together with kindness,” said Anthony Hucker, President, and CEO of Southeastern Grocers.
All Winn-Dixie grocery stores will continue to extend shopping hours on Mondays and Tuesdays to provide a special shopping hour from 8–9 p.m. dedicated to health care professionals and first responders. The grocery chain also has an hour set aside for seniors and high-risk customers to shop Monday through Friday, during the first hour of operation, as a safety precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic.