magine running out to the store to stock up on essentials, heading to the checkout line and finding out someone else had already paid for your groceries. That’s exactly what happened for senior shoppers at 73 stores in Georgia and Louisiana on Wednesday.
The grocery buying angel? Tyler Perry!
During the designated senior shopping hour, the writer, director, producer and actor paid entire grocery bills for all customers shopping at 29 Winn-Dixie stores in his hometown of New Orleans and 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta, where he currently lives. At Kroger, that added up to nearly 3,000 shoppers.
CONFIRMED: @tylerperry paid for all groceries during Seniors Hour at 44 Atlanta-area @Kroger stores. Look at these faces — you can see the smiles and tears through the masks! pic.twitter.com/MIm7F5Hssr
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) April 8, 2020
When customers arrived at the register the shoppers were surprised to find a bag over the credit card reader. “I was dumbstruck,” Phil Kloer, 64, told The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Perry had paid his entire $290 bill. Kloer, who still has a job, was inspired to immediately pay it forward. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, he payed it forward and donated $300 to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
“We would like to join our customers in thanking Mr. Perry for his kindness and generosity during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Kroger spokesperson Felix Turner in a statement. “It was truly a pleasure to see our customers fill with joy and gratitude as the news spread throughout 44 stores across metro Atlanta.”
Perry’s definitely doing his part to help those struggling during the coronavirus crisis. This past weekend he gave 42 out-of-work servers at Houston’s, one of his favorite restaurants in Atlanta, a $500 tip—per employee. That’s a $21,000 tip!
The media mogul has a history of generosity. After the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, he used his private plane to send necessities to the hardest hit areas of the Bahamas. On Instagram at the time, he pledged to help “rebuild stronger and better.” As he wrote, ”You’re not only in my heart and my prayers, you’re in my blood. God bless you. Stay Bahamas strong. The sun will shine agin.”
In December 2018, Perry paid off all the layaways at two Walmart stores totaling in $432,635. In a video, he tweeted at the time, he said, “I was trying to do this anonymously but due to some circumstances nothing stays secret these days. I’m really grateful to be able to be in a position to do this.”
I was trying to do this anonymously but oh well!!! pic.twitter.com/T0dhRHyU66
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) December 6, 2018