Acts of Kindness

Woman goes into Kroger and walks out having spent over $28,000 on groceries

January 4th, 2021

Christmas is the season of giving when many people will show thanks for the good things in their life by doing nice things for other people.

And there was a lot of Christmas spirit to go around this year.

A Little Rock woman said she was inspired to pay for more than $28,000 worth of groceries for strangers after learning how long lines were at food banks which were running out of resources.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

“I was like, I’m going to buy groceries,” Ashley Ann Jones told Fox 16. “Story after story about people getting laid off, or furloughed or just lost their company.”

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Google Maps Screenshot Source: Google Maps Screenshot

Having grown up in Scott, the 35-year-old entrepreneur said she is well aware of how underserved people in these areas are and how they struggle.

Jones decided to purchase groceries at the Kroger in East Roosevelt Road in Little Rock because she knows that there are many people in the area who have to work two and three jobs just to make ends meet.

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She also chose the Kroger near Camp Robinson Road in North Little Rock because her father served in the military and a lot of military families and seniors frequent that store.

Joseph Mayo, the manager at the East Roosevelt Road Krogers said Jones’ gesture was a “great Christmas gift.”

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He said the reactions from customers ranged from elation to happy tears.

“They’d come up and we’d say your groceries are paid for and they’d be like ‘Are you serious? Really?'” Mayo said. “… never had anything like that happen to them before.”

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Jones said she was overjoyed to bring a little joy to her neighbors and that it was “really exciting to be in the position to be able to do that and I would much rather give the money directly to the community. A lot of those communities are overlooked and underserved. And there were so many people that were there, they were in shock, they were in disbelief.”

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As if buying $28,000 worth of groceries wasn’t enough, Jones gave, even more, this holiday season.

Jones, who owns a business production company and social media strategy firm, also conducted her annual holiday bill pay for her social media followers.

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This year she gave away $35,000 in cash increments of $250, $500, and $1,000 to followers to use to pay the bills.

Another $30,000 was set aside to help the community and buy groceries.

She didn’t think to count how many families she paid for at the grocery store.

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For Jones, Christmas is the time for “family, love and a time to rest and reflect.”

She usually throws a sweet Christmas party for family and friends that includes karaoke and playing games.

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“It is a bummer that you can’t do your regular traditions, but at the same time [I] think of how blessed we are; none of us passed away, we all still have employment, we all still have a roof over our heads,” Jones said.

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“It’s inconvenient, but we can have our Christmas party in July if we want to.”

Jones said she is spending the holidays with her parents, sister, and nephew.

Thanks to her many in Little Rock will be having a merrier Christmas celebration because of her.

“You do what you can where you are,” Jones said.

Learn more about this story in the video below.

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Source: Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Newsweek, KARK