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Penguins Coach Surprises Seniors, Pays Grocery Bills



Pittsburgh Penguins Mike Sullivan

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan joined the Penguins giving tree on Tuesday. The Penguins boss surprised shoppers by paying for groceries at two Giant Eagle locations for two hours during the chain’s “Senior hours” on Tuesday morning.

Shoppers at Giant Eagle on the Waterfront and the South Hills Market District learned of Sullivan’s generosity at the checkout, where they were told at no payment was necessary and that costs were paid in advance by Sullivan.

“We have been so proud to see the generosity of the Pittsburgh community throughout this challenging time,” Sullivan said. “My wife, Kate, and I wanted to do something for those at higher risk for the illness.  We know that most seniors live on fixed incomes and have to worry more about getting out in general, so it is our hope that we were able to give them a little relief during a stressful time.”

Giant Eagle is a Pittsburgh Penguins corporate sponsor. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the store set up a private shopping hour for seniors between 6 and 7 a.m., three days per week. To Sullivan’s credit, he and his wife asked Giant Eagle to target the stores which are busiest during those hours.

“We are amazed by the generosity displayed by Mike and Kate Sullivan as they helped provide groceries to some of the most vulnerable members of our community this morning,” said Giant Eagle Spokesperson Jannah Jablonowski. “The Penguins organization continues to be a wonderful partner not only to us at Giant Eagle, but to the entire Pittsburgh community.”

On Monday, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby made national news when he donated 100,000 meals to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank. That donation equated to 120,000 pounds of food.

Other Penguins players including Matt Murray also opened a tab for policy officers at Primanti Bros., which is also a Penguins sponsor.