GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS) — Meijer team members surprised some lucky customers in the grocery pickup spots last weekend with free orders for the holiday.

With a “Happy Thanksgiving” note and a $50 coupon towards their next order, the customers were sent on their way.

“You have no idea how much this means to us,” said Sarah Swinney, a customer at the Meijer store in McHenry, Ill. “We just had a baby and this help is going to make a big difference for our Thanksgiving holiday. I wish I could hug you.”

Meijer said it’s their way of showing its pickup customers how much they are appreciated, especially during a pandemic when the company has seen a huge increase in the use of the pickup program.

“This year has been challenging for everyone, so we wanted to show our appreciation to some of those customers who have trusted us to do their essential shopping,” said Derek Steele, vice president of customer strategy for Meijer. “Surprising them as they picked up groceries in preparation of their Thanksgiving meals seemed like an ideal time to do something special.”

In all, 234 stores selected one lucky customer to receive their entire order, plus a $50 coupon towards the next time they schedule a pickup from the site.

Once the groceries were placed in their car, each store director surprised the Meijer team member who shopped the pickup order with a $100 gift card.

“Our team members step up every day with a ‘customer first’ attitude and are truly heroes, not just in our eyes, but in the eyes of their communities,” Steele said.

(All photographs taken by Meijer)