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Shopping during Pandemic: Customers at Pete’s Fruit Market get surprise gift of free groceries

Tonit Calaway and Judge David Swanson, along with Major League Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Allan H. “Bud” Selig, came together with Pete’s Fruit Market on April 23 to surprise customers with free groceries.

The generous donation of $20,000 by the three individuals provided families that shop at Pete’s Fruit Market on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive with groceries and other necessities to help them during the harsh social and economic conditions brought on by the coronavirus and social distancing measures.

“There is so much uncertainty and anxiety in the community right now as families try to job loss, bills, rent, and childcare — all of which can be overwhelming,” said Tonit Calaway. “Our hope is that these gifts will help ease the burden on our neighbors. Our community supports one another, it’s just what we do.”

Each customer that arrived at Pete’s Fruit Market on April 23 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. received their groceries free of charge. Over the coming days and a week in May, customers will again be surprised with free groceries during certain confidential pre-determined hours until the $20,000 donation has been spent.

“There are so very many people in need,” said Commissioner Emeritus Selig and his wife Sue. “Our hope is that others will join in this effort to help us share even more random acts of kindness with families in our City.”

Pete’s Fruit Market is a full-service grocery store where customers are able to find healthy options including fresh produce, homemade deli meals, meats and other grocery items. Operating in both the north and south sides of Milwaukee, the market has a long history of serving its community.

“The level of community support we’ve seen over the course of the past couple of weeks—the real human connections during a time of physical isolation— is deeply inspiring,” said Deshea Agee, Executive Director of the Historic King Drive BID #8. “We offer our sincere thanks to those who have made donations in support of our community.”

© Photo

Lee Matz

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