Fred and Marie Kennedy, of Zachary, are in the spirit of giving.

The couple took their three adult children and seven grandchildren — Wren, Willow, Spirit and Kanyun Hoffpauir, Annasy and Hunter Graham, and Lynnox Kennedy — to Winn-Dixie recently, giving them each $50 to spend on groceries and $5 for taxes.

The children also were given a pencil, pad and calculator to track their choice of food items.

One adult accompanied each grandchild, helping them record their selections and keep a running tally of all grocery items going into the cart.

“We challenged them to see who could buy the most with their money,” said Marie Kennedy, of the family effort.

In total, the children spent $375 on nearly 370 pounds of food, which was donated to the Zachary Food Pantry.

“An unexpected serendipity of the venture was the friendly competition among our adult children as the items were tallied at the register,” Kennedy said. “It fostered lively discussions then and for hours afterward. They all agreed they wanted to do this again soon.”

Prejean suggested the youth be allowed to select grocery items that other children would like to eat, too.

“I thought it was so neat of the family to do this,” Food Pantry volunteer Roma Prejean said. “They bought lots of food that we don’t usually receive. It was awesome, and I’m hoping it will give other folks ideas, those who can afford to help.”