A South Carolina convenience store got $3,500 after a local woman beat odds of one to 857,142.86 and won $350,000 off a scratch-off lottery ticket – now the store is using its earnings from selling the winning $10 Mighty Jumbo Bucks ticket to provide Thanksgiving meals for its community.
“We’re going to have a Thanksgiving dinner for all of my walk-in traffic and homeless people around here,” said Aggi Tarnowski, store manager of KP Food Mart in Anderson, South Carolina. “We’re cooking all the sides, turkeys, everything, the whole nine yards. The food is going to be free for all who need it.”
She and store supervisor Melissa Grimmette have divvied up the meal prep: Tarnowski is making macaroni and cheese, dressing, green bean casserole, and rolls, and Grimmette is going to fry turkeys.
“It started because Aggi wanted to (feed the community),” Grimmette said. “She has a lot of traffic and people coming in who need food. She gives away the biscuits and things after a certain time, so she already wanted to do this. Of course, having the extra funds, (the owners) figured they’d help out and match whatever we get. They’re really good about that.”
The store is new – and it’s a hope to use the meals to bond with the local residents.
“We have been open only like two-and-half months, and this is a big thing for us to bring some positive vibes in Anderson as a new store,” Tarnowski said in a Polish accent. “It also shows the people us, as foreigners, can have good input in the community.”
The women hope to feed up to 30 people. But no one will be turned away.
“We’re not going to judge anyone, we’re all humans and nobody is perfect,” Tarnowski said. “I might not have much, but whatever I have, I’d give it all away. I will get it back tenfold and I will be blessed for it.”