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Grocery Grab hopefuls set strategies
Annual event is Saturday at Kens IGA
W 082716 GROCERY GRAB 03
Stewart Bennett of Leefield gives a thumbs-up with a full cart after winning the 3rd Annual Statesboro Herald Grocery Grab at Ken's IGA in Brooklet in 2016. Bennett, a regular customer at the store, headed straight for the meat section and filled his cart with $1,013.12 worth of beef in 60 seconds. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

It will be over in 60 seconds. But one lucky winner will have a hefty load of groceries at the end of that minute. 

The Statesboro Herald’s Fourth Annual 60-Second Grocery Grab contest is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Ken’s IGA in Brooklet. Four people will take home a $50 gift certificate from Ken’s, but one lucky winner drawn from the five finalists will have 60 seconds to grab as many groceries as possible before time runs out.

Finalists are Linda Roberts, of Pembroke, Deon Hendrix, of Statesboro, Ursala Hines, of Statesboro, Debbie Fordham, of Brooklet, and Nancy Callaway, of Statesboro.

Finalist Debbie Fordham said that she’d won a coffee maker a bit ago, but never won anything this big before.

 “I was shocked, really surprised,” said Fordham.

Though she said she wasn’t expecting to win, once she found out she had, she crafted a plan.

“Some people say they go for steaks, but I’m going for the things we eat the most. Bacon, sausage, and then hit the meat counter.”

Fordham said her husband is away at work during the week and her daughter just left for college, so she’ll mostly be thinking about meals for herself and her 15-year-old son while she’s grabbing. “I know what he likes, so I’ll figure that in as I’m choosing,” she said.

Ursala Hines, too, remembers being a winner in the past. “When I was 10, I won a bike, but it was too little for me, so I gave it to my little brother.”

Hines said she will most likely share these winnings, too, if her name is drawn as the mad-dasher. At home, it’s just she and her 6-year-old daughter, but said she has a goddaughter with two little ones and a best friend with three boys that she’d love to share the bounty with.

Hines waffled when she discussed her strategy. “I have been in there several times to look at the layout. Everybody goes for meat first. I kinda have a plan. No, I really don’t.”

 Laughing at her own indecisiveness, she did know one thing for certain: “My daughter likes bacon. I’ll get some bacon. Frozen shrimp. Chicken mostly. And I saw some fresh produce when I was in there before, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to catch them when I run by.”

Hines said she was in disbelief to find out she’d been chosen as a finalist, because she tried the contest unsuccessfully last year.

“It’s been kind of a struggle,” admits Hines, “as a recently single mom, so if I can get anything – groceries or $50 - that will be wonderful.”

Two of the finalists know each other and ran into each other when they were dropping off entry forms. Participants filled out forms found in the Herald and dropped them into a box at the newspaper office or at Ken’s in Brooklet. One name was drawn each week during the competition to become a finalist to win the Grocery Grab shopping spree.

Nancy Callaway saw Linda Roberts’ name in the paper and realized she was a finalist. “Linda and I drove buses together,” explained Callaway. Callaway was ecstatic to find out she was a winner, especially since she said she told the newspaper staff each time she dropped off her form: “Now, y’all got to pull my name – this is the winning one!”  

Callaway said she has a strategy and it’s a simple one: “Fill up the buggy just as fast as I can.

“Everybody says ‘go for the meat,’ but, geez – peanut butter, Tide?” Then with a chuckle, she said, “You know, steak is good for you. Boston butt is good for you.”

Finalist Callaway may have a plan for Saturday, but her sister’s plan is more long-range. Callaway said, “My sister said, ‘Get the ham for Easter.’ Get big stuff!’”

Callaway said those relatives she hopes to share with are mostly-all retired. “But I’m still working. This is my 30th year driving a school bus, right there in Brooklet.”

The familiar face at Ken’s hopes her win will prevent her from using so much of her paycheck on groceries. “Bus drivers don’t make as much as we’re worth. I got a big freezer – I can fill it up!”

Linda Roberts plans to grab as much meat as she can get. “It’s just my husband and me at home, but I got kids and grandkids,” said Roberts. “I share everything else, so I’ll share my winnings with them.”

The lone male finalist, Deon Hendrix, said he hadn’t thought too much about a strategy, but he already has plans for the loot he’ll grab. He said, “When I win – I’m planning on winning so that my church, New Beginning Christian Outreach Ministry, can throw a cookout for the community.”

A supervisor at Facility Services at Georgia Southern, Hendrix must be planning on grabbing a lot, because he added, “And what we don’t use, I’ll have a cookout at Georgia Southern.”

And last year’s winner, Stewart Bennett, set a very high target. He made haste during his 60 seconds and piled $1,013 worth of meat to the top of his buggy. Bennett was very selective: He chose steaks – 66 packages of steak filled his cart.


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