Strangers sneak up to customers and pay for their groceries then hand employee a gift

There is a popular old saying, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

The abbreviation TINSTAAFL is even used. In Epictetus’ Enchiridion (maxim Nr. XVIII), he writes,

“… nothing is acquired for free, and necessarily must cost us some thing.”

In this amazing story, we get to hear a not-so-typical news report.
Strangers sneak up to customers and pay for their groceries then hand employee a gift

FOX5 Surprise Squad turns the adage upside down.

The FOX5 Surprise Squad has pulled off some remarkable works. But sometimes the simplest actions can have a profound impact on a person’s life.

What is the FOX5 Surprise Squad?
According to the FOX5 Vegas website, United Nissan, America First Credit Union, and Albertsons Vons are the proud sponsors of the FOX5 Surprise Squad.

It began surprising viewers throughout the Las Vegas Valley on December 16, 2013, with acts of kindness.

The Surprise Squad makes its way around town, brightening the day of some lucky FOX5 viewers. You never know where the Squad will appear or what they will do when they arrive.

One of their surprises involved a visit to a local Albertsons, where they hoped to fill shopping carts and hearts.

Maria Silva of FOX5 News This Morning was the one assigned to be on the field asking the shoppers and giving out the good news.

“I’m Maria with the Fox5 Surprise Squad.

Don’t do that, we’re paying for your groceries.”

It was a lucky day for unsuspecting locals and customers when they found out the news crew would be paying for their groceries.
What were their initial reactions?


“If I knew that, I should got more.”

“Thank you so much.”

“Oh my goodness!”

The shoppers were ecstatic when they discovered the surprise at the checkout lane in Albertsons at Jones & Tropicana in Las Vegas.

Arthur Wheeler, a Las Vegas local for 35 years was shocked.

“I’ve never been on TV. This might be the closest I get to Hollywood,” Arthur exclaimed in glee.

“Oh really, so this is your moment you…” Maria said.

Arthur answered with confidence, “Yes, yes I’m on my way.”

Terry Jacobson, a father of two was asked, “tell me a little bit about what brings you to Albertsons today?”

“Getting ready for the kids, well that means I can take up to the movies. That’s a good feeling, that’s a good feeling,” he anwered.

He went on to say, “so everything, everything helps out.”

Another grateful customer shared her story.
Mona Neria, a mother of 18 and 16-year-old boys, mentioned that it was desperately needed.

“We’re at the end of our unemployment. So, that’s great!” she explained.

Maria then asked, “So, what else do you need that we can go get right now?”

Mona replied that she would love some meat for her kids. Maria then took her shopping around the store to get additional groceries.

Then came a lovely story.
Maria asked a retired man,

“Do you have any family here or are you here by yourself?”

Abe Wisotsky shared that,

“Unfortunately, my wife, she passed away. So, I’m here by myself now. Her name was Molly. We fell in love back in New York.

When asked what he misses most about her. He replied, “Just about everything.” The news station’s kind gesture of buying Abe’s groceries was enough to bring him to tears.

Afterward, the FOX5 Surprise Squad interviewed one of the cashiers, who was emotional just watching her customers receive help.
“Tell me about this neighborhood. Are there a lot of low-income families?” Maria asked.

Albertson’s employee Melissa Leopoldo said that,

“There’s a lot.”

Melissa was all too familiar with her customers’ hardships. She’s a single mother of a nine-year-old daughter, Daisy, and she admitted that it’s difficult.

The squad had observed how the cashier interacted with the wonderful people.

They decided to surprise Melissa too by giving her $200 to spend on herself and her daughter.

With tears streaming down her cheeks, she said,

“Thank you, guys.”

“Daisy, look at what we got. We’ve got two hundred dollars in groceries for us. All [thanks] to FOX5 and the Surprise Squad.”

This was without a doubt one of the best and most inspiring “free lunches” that can be shared with others.

Watch the video below to see the emotional reactions for yourself!
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