Actor Tyler Perry just made a lot of Georgia and Louisiana residents happy when he treated them to a pleasant surprise. The 50-year-old TV and movie mogul secretly paid for the grocery bills of elderly and vulnerable shoppers at 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta and 29 Winn-Dixie stores in New Orleans.
Surprised shoppers said the cashiers informed them that an anonymous donor already paid for their hauls. They didn’t know then that it was Perry, but the receipts for those whose groceries were covered were reportedly signed “Atlanta Angel.”
Phil Kloer, 64, was one of the lucky recipients of this surprise. He said he was shopping at a Decatur Kroger during the “senior” hour when an employee approached him and quietly told him that he should get to the checkout counter by 8 a.m. He was almost done shopping, so it wasn’t a problem. When he was about to pay, the cashier told him that he didn’t need to worry as it has already been paid for. That day, Kloer had $290 worth of groceries covered.
He said he was “dumbstruck,” and since he still had a job, he decided to pay it forward and immediately donated $300 to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Felix Turner, the Atlanta spokesman for Kroger, spoke about the star’s generosity with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Senior and higher-risk Kroger shoppers in metro Atlanta did receive a nice surprise at the register this morning when they learned Tyler Perry had paid their grocery tab in full. We would like to join our customers in thanking Mr. Perry for his kindness and generosity during this unprecedented pandemic.”
Perry currently lives in Atlanta, but he grew up in New Orleans. He covered the grocery bills of older and vulnerable shoppers during the hour reserved for them.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many grocery stores are allowing the elderly and vulnerable people to shop earlier than others so they can stock up on necessities without the fear of mingling with large crowds. They are at higher risk of developing severe complications from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is why this implementation was deemed necessary.
A source told PEOPLE about Perry’s motivation behind this generous act: “He wanted to do something special to provide immediate relief for some of the most vulnerable in the two cities he considers home.”
Winn-Dixie took to Twitter to express their gratitude to Perry for his kind act.
“Thank you to our friend @tylerperry for paying it forward by purchasing groceries for elderly and high-risk #winndixie customers shopping at Louisiana stores this morning. Winn-Dixie applauds your love for community and sincere generosity,” the company tweeted.
It’s unknown how much Perry spent to cover the grocery bills, but the numbers could have reached six figures. So far, the actor hasn’t made a statement about the purchases.
Perry is known for performing random acts of philanthropy. Earlier this week, he gave a $500 tip for every out-of-work server at his favorite Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta while picking up takeout. He gave away a total of $21,000 to the workers.
Now more than ever, the world needs to know that the spirit of giving is still very much alive. Thank you for your generosity, Tyler Perry!