Tyler Perry Pays for All Groceries for the Elderly at 73 Stores Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

June 4, 2020

Tyler Perry surprised senior shoppers in two states by paying for their groceries Wednesday morning, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.

The 50-year-old TV and movie mogul, who is in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, paid for groceries at 44 Kroger stores in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and 29 Winn-Dixie stores in his hometown of New Orleans during an hour reserved for senior shoppers.

Some stores have opened their doors to seniors earlier thanhand so that they can finish their shopping with out worrying about crowds in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.

“He wanted to do something special to provide immediate relief to some of the most vulnerable people in the two cities he considers home,” a source told PEOPLE.

His act of kindness comes after Perry tipped workers $21,000 when they picked up takeout at an Atlanta restaurant, PEOPLE confirmed.

Perry is known for often reaching out to those in need.

In November, Perry rescued a couple from Atlanta who were forced to seek medical treatment while on vacation in Mexico and were later prevented from leaving because they couldn’t afford the $14,000 in medical bills.

A source told PEOPLE that the star paid the couple’s medical bills and also paid for their trip as soon as they were allowed to leave.

“Today, I am grateful and will always be grateful to Tyler Perry,” Austin wrote on Facebook at the time.” My mom was a huge fan of his as well.”

In December 2018, Perry said he would cover all layaway at the two Atlanta Walmart locations as a way to spread holiday cheer. (Layaway allows customers to reserve items at stores by paying a deposit and paying the balance at a later pickup.)

Walmart spokeswoman LeMia Jenkins told PEOPLE at the time that the Acrimony director paid about $434,000 for the layaway items – which were ordered by 1,500 people ahead of the holiday season.

“Tyler Perry’s generous donation has made an incredible difference for so many families, and we can’t thank him enough for his kindness,” she said in a statement.” The heartfelt excitement and joy we’ve seen from our customers as a result of his holiday gift has been touching.”

The company responded to the actor’s act of kindness, posting a response on Twitter that said, “Anonymous or not, we want you to know that you just celebrated Christmas for so many families. You went above and beyond. Thank you #SparkKindness.”