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Grocery Chain Surprises Health Care Workers in Seven States By Picking Up Their Bills

Southeastern Grocers surprised first responders and health care workers with free groceries.

File this in the good news category: Southeastern Grocers, one of the largest grocery store chains in the U.S., surprised a number of first responders and health care workers across the country who were shopping in their stores on Monday night by picking up their grocery shopping tabs.

The chain, which owns Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket, BI-LO, and other stores in seven southern states, decided to lend a generous hand to those who have been working so hard on our front lines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Any first responders shopping in their stores between 8 and 9pm Monday night received their groceries on the house.

"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," said Anthony Hucker, CEO of Southeastern Grocers, in an apparent response to a challenge from celeb movie director, Tyler Perry, who paid for the groceries purchased by roughly 3,000 senior citizens last week.

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"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," Hucker said. "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."

Southeastern Grocers' Gives Foundation also donated $250,000 to national food bank Feeding America in March to provide support to those facing food insecurity throughout all communities in the Southeast, the company said.

Grocery shopping has gone from an experience of joyful procurement to stressful contagion concerns during the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus. The entire supermarket experience is suddenly fraught with peril, especially for health care workers and first responders who do not have the relatively luxurious choice of working from home.

READ MORE: 9 Worst Grocery Store Chains to Shop at During the Pandemic

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