Southeastern Grocers (SEG) on Monday paid the grocery bill for thousands of customers during its reserved shopping hour for health care workers and first responders battling coronavirus.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based SEG said “community heroes” shopping in all Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores across seven Southeastern states were surprised with a $0 grocery total at the register on Monday evening.
“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,” President and CEO Anthony Hucker commented. “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.”
SEG said it was moved by the recent generosity of well-known filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry. Last week, on April 8, Perry bought groceries for customers at all 29 Louisiana Winn-Dixie stores during the senior and high-risk shopping hour.
In addition, the SEG Gives Foundation last month donated $250,000 to Feeding America to help its network of food banks support those now facing food insecurity across the Southeast. The grocer is also offering more than 5,000 jobs to workers displaced by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SEG said that on Mondays and Tuesdays it will continue to provide health workers and first responders with a special shopping hour from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. at all stores. Seniors and high-risk customers, too, are invited to shop the first hour of operation, Monday through Friday, at all locations.
Other coronavirus safety measures taken by SEG include modified hours for more comprehensive store cleaning; plexiglass partitions at all registers, customer-service desks, pharmacies and liquor store counters; floor markers prompting shoppers to maintain a two-cart-length distance throughout the store and at checkout; and touch-free payment options at checkout in all stores.