Perry played fairy godfather to nearly 3000 shoppers across 44 Kroger supermarkets in his hometown, Atlanta, and more at 29 Winn-Dixie locations in New Orleans.
With the pandemic leaving millions of Americans struggling to meet ends meet, movie mogul Tyler Perry is reaching out to the most vulnerable with a helping hand. The 50-year-old left thousands of elderly and high-risk shoppers at 73 stores stunned this week after paying off their grocery bills. On Wednesday, Perry played fairy godfather to nearly 3000 shoppers across 44 Kroger supermarkets in his hometown, Atlanta, and more at 29 Winn-Dixie locations in New Orleans during the hour dedicated to vulnerable customers. His latest act of generosity comes days after he gave out $21,000 in tips to out-of-work servers at an Atlanta restaurant.
An anonymous donor bought all of the groceries for every single senior citizen shopping during their special hour for elderly folks at the Toco Hills Kroger this morning. Shoppers were stunned and so grateful. When they got their receipts it was signed simply, “Atlanta Angel” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/qFN3KsEKEO— Kaitlyn Ross 11Alive (@kaitlynross1) April 8, 2020
According to TODAY, speaking of Perry's heartwarming gesture to support elderly and immuno-compromised individuals in these difficult times, Felix Turner—a Kroger spokesman in Atlanta—said in a statement: "We would like to join our customers in thanking Mr. Perry for his kindness and generosity during this unprecedented pandemic. It was truly a pleasure to see our customers fill with joy and gratitude." Meanwhile, Winn-Dixie thanked the celeb for his act by tweeting: 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.
Winn-Dixie shoppers who arrived at stores during the shopping hour dedicated to vulnerable customers were handed a piece of paper that said "Random act of kindness. Present to cashier before 8 a.m.," reports CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV. Erin Cowser, who was shopping in Hammond, revealed: "We walked in and the manager just had this huge grin on his face when he was handing out these pieces of paper." When customers took the slip of paper to the cashier during checkout, they were informed that they'd bill had been taken care of.
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
"She finishes and says 'Oh, I want to let you know you don’t owe a thing. Tyler Perry is paying for your groceries this morning.' I almost died!" said shopper Elizabeth Hunter. "You hear about these things, but you never expect it to happen to you." Speaking to CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King about why he decided to pay the grocery bills, Perry said: "There are a lot of people who are really, really struggling right now and underprivileged and I wanted to go to the heart of where we are and what we need."
"There are a lot of people who are really, really struggling right now & underprivileged & I wanted to go to the heart of where we are & what we need." — @TylerPerry tells @GayleKing after paying grocery bills for shoppers at 73 stores in Atlanta & New Orleans.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 9, 2020
Only @CBS Friday. pic.twitter.com/4QTrfWpQGA
Customers who were touched by Perry's generosity in Atlanta and New Orleans took to social media to express their gratitude.
@tylerperry Thank you for your kindness today. I went shopping in Metairie, Louisiana this morning and your wave a goodness was felt. You put a smile on face and in my heart. God bless! 🙂— emily brady (@ocd4dmb) April 8, 2020
My mom went to Winn Dixie this morning and as she went to check out they told her that Tyler Perry was paying for everyone in the stores groceries!! What a blessing he is!!! @tylerperry— Connie (@ccbklein) April 8, 2020
So I went get some stuff for lunch today at the Winn Dixie by my house in br.. go to the register to pay and apparently Tyler Perry is paying for everyone’s groceries at that store right now.. not a bad way to start a Wednesday— Kaylin Richard (@kaylinrichard13) April 8, 2020
This morning when Gloria Oliver was about to pay for her groceries at SW Atlanta Kroger, the cashier told her "don't bother, Tyler Perry had paid everyone's grocery bill". Hers was $250.— FierceWarriorNStilettos (@InactionNever) April 9, 2020
Watch what happens next...❤️
Perry, meanwhile, is mourning the loss of a crew member named Charles Gregory who he's known for many years. Sharing the news of the hairdresser's death on Facebook, the celeb called attention to how the pandemic is disproportionately impacting African Americans, urging followers to stay home and practice social distancing. While everyone can contract this virus it is black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, black people. I heard a black person say, “Black people don’t get it.” That is a lie! You can get it, and you will get it if we don’t do what we're being told to do, Perry wrote.
Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry is pleading with the black community to take COVID-19 seriously and practice social distancing after the loss of his longtime crew member, Charles Gregory Ross.https://t.co/vbKcPFtnmv— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 9, 2020
Your age does not matter!! Your health does not matter. You could be totally healthy, and you could die! Now listen to me. You have been right by my side since I started in this business, so please hear me with your heart. I LOVE US. I love our humor. I love our culture. I love our hair. I love our skin. I love everything about who we are. All of us. And I love us all too much to watch us die on the vine because we are the last to know and we are not taking this pandemic seriously, he continued. Black people, we are at a disproportionately higher risk of dying from this virus. Please, please, please, I beg you to take this seriously. You have to socially distance yourself. That means stop hanging out, stop congregating, stop doing anything that will put not only your life in danger but also the lives of so many others. STAY HOME!! Socially distance yourself and stay alive! If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for someone you love, and for those who love you.
Dear Black People,— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) April 9, 2020
Today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members. Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years. The man was warm, loving and hilarious. Continued: https://t.co/24WRTHPTeN pic.twitter.com/b1y2ZTy4DF