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'We want to give back to the community' | Kroger, LMPD surprise shoppers with gift cards

LMPD and Kroger, along with Santa and the Grinch, gave shoppers an early Christmas surprise by handing out $50 gift cards.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With just over three weeks left until Christmas, Louisville Metro Police (LMPD) and Kroger partnered to bring some holiday cheer to unsuspecting shoppers in two of the store's locations on Wednesday. 

Officer Tonya Rocky Landry said it's a way for both the store and LMPD to show appreciation, connect to their communities and spread a little holiday cheer. 

"We want to be able to give back to the community because the community gives so much to us," Landry said.

With the help of Kroger event coordinator Stephanie Ratliff, Santa and the Grinch, the four walked the aisles of the store stopping to greet shoppers and share some laughs (and candy) before surprising them with a $50 gift card. 

"Oh wow! This is so cheerful," one mother said, hugging her two children by her side. 

"This really does help," another shopper said before sharing a hug. 

This is the third year that LMPD and Kroger have surprised shoppers with gift cards, only missing last year due to COVID-19. 

"We've had customers who've lost jobs, lost family members to COVID," Ratliff said. "We don't only focus on food, but relationships. A lot of our stores know our customers by name... know their stories and struggles... we hope this will give a little relief close to the holidays." 

Being able to give back and share a little joy means a lot to Landry, who said she believes community outreach is one of the most important parts of their jobs.

"We see some of the worst things out there," Landry said. "This gives an opportunity to communicate with others on a positive level and share some happiness. We're here for a service -- it's part of our code. That's what we're here for." 

There will be a few more days before Christmas that Kroger and LMPD will be surprising shoppers, but those dates are as secret as how Santa makes his trip around the world on Christmas night. But, Ratliff did share one hint. 

"Look for Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Grinch. Merry Christmas!"

    

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