Rod Hildebrant had no idea what he was getting into last week when he offered to pay $40 out of everyone’s bill at City Market, the store he co-founded in Bay City.
“We just posted it on our personal page thinking that a couple of friends in the area that needed help might reach out and come. I don’t think we really expected it to be shared from our personal pages so many times,” said Matthew Meehan, co-founder of City Market.
The post was shared 700 times.
“I think within a matter of minutes, we looked at each other and said, ‘oh my goodness. This is awesome,’” Meehan said.
From that post, 250 people took Hildebrant up on his offer – totaling $10,000 of groceries.
“The number of folks who sent personal messages and said, ‘I’m embarrassed that I can’t put food on the table for my family,’” Hildebrant said.
City Market has struggled, just like everyone else this year.
“About 3,000 people typically on a normal day work in our downtown community. That number has been severely impacted as everyone’s working from home,” Hildebrant said.
They can’t afford to invest in curbside pickup or delivery either.
But this was about restoring dignity and you can’t put a price on that.
“We just saw a lot of people posting things about having a holiday that was gonna be so different from all the others. Couple of posts we saw were from people we know,” Meehan said.
For so many customers who typically decide between bills and meals, last week, they could do both.