Supermarket Sweep brings out media competition and benefits Second Harvest Food Bank

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If you’ve ever watched Supermarket Sweep, you’ve probably had the same thoughts I did: Go for the hams! The hams! They’re $23 each. Man, I’d rule at this game. 

Well. I stand corrected.

Yesterday, I competed in a Supermarket Sweep-style fundraiser sponsored by Peoples Health to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. It was me against teams from WGNO, WDSU, Peoples Health, Second Harvest, WWL-TV and Nola.com.

I came in dead last.

They say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s what happened. I also failed to show up on time and had to sprint from Gambit World HQ to Winn Dixie. Luckily, the supermarket is right across the street from our office.

It was clear the competition came to play (Butter)ball. WWL-TV's Laura Buchtel and Sheba Turk had their game faces on. Copious amounts of trash talk flew through the air. Someone thrust a list of Thanksgiving grocery items into my hands — turkeys, canned vegetables, rice, pasta, beans, soups — and we were off.

The competition was fierce.
  • The competition was fierce.

We had four minutes to make those groceries. I was seemingly the only one without a partner, camera crew or plan. Everyone’s making a run for the turkeys, I thought, frozen deer-in-headlights style. I’ll grab the beans! The beans are right there!

Home viewers, at this point, would utter a collective groan. The turkeys! Go for the turkeys! 

In my panic, I forgot the fundamental rule of Supermarket Sweep.

I saw Team WWL make a mad dash for the cooking oil and decided to follow their lead, almost mowing down an innocent shopper. “If I’d known this was going on, I’d have shopped tomorrow,” he said, hands up in a don’t shoot pose.

Hopefully, nobody was planning on buying turkey that day, because every last one was cleaned out.

After the fastest four minutes of my life, the game was over. Everyone pushed their overflowing carts to the checkout line. I felt woefully inadequate with my sad cart of beans. Luckily, some Winn Dixie employees took pity and passed me rolls and pumpkin pies before the buzzer sounded.

My total ended up being $438.46, which didn’t seem too bad until I found out WGNO won with $2,102.44. All in all, the teams swept and donated $11,376.53 worth of groceries to Second Harvest Food Bank.

In a way, everybody won. But if I get the chance to sweep a supermarket again, I’ll do things differently. I’ll go for the turkeys.

$438.46 worth of groceries in four minutes.
  • $438.46 worth of groceries in four minutes.



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