Jacksonville, Florida-based Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG), parent company and home of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, rewarded thousands of customers with free groceries during Monday night’s healthcare professionals and first responders shopping hour. The community heroes shopping in all Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores throughout seven states in the Southeast were surprised with a $0 grocery total at the register.
Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, said, “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 healthcare 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.”
Southeastern Grocers was moved by the recent generosity of well-known filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry. Perry partnered with Winn-Dixie on Wednesday, April 8, during the senior and high-risk shopping hour to purchase groceries for customers at all 29 Louisiana stores. The actor spoke out about the importance of positivity during this time and how even small acts of kindness can spread hope and unite communities.
In addition to Southeastern Grocers giving back to health care professionals and first responders, the SEG Gives Foundation donated $250,000 to Feeding America in March to help its network of food banks provide much-needed support to those currently facing food insecurity throughout all communities in the Southeast. The grocer also is offering more than 5,000 positions to individuals who have been affected by restricted working hours or job loss as a result of mandated store and restaurant closures due to Covid-19.
All Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and 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. Additionally, seniors and high-risk customers are invited to shop the first hour of operations, Monday through Friday, as a continued safety precaution. The grocer asks all customers to remain respectful of this time given to the elderly and other high-risk community members to allow them the comfort of purchasing necessary products in a safe environment.
SEG has elevated safety standards to help alleviate community concerns. These standards include modified hours to allow for a deeper, more comprehensive cleaning process as well as the installation of Plexiglas partitions at all store registers, customer service desks, pharmacies and liquor store counters. Customers are asked to maintain a two-cart-length distance throughout the store and at checkout by utilizing floor markers set to encourage social distancing. Customers also are asked to continue using touch-free payment options at all Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie registers.