To celebrate the opening of its new Zachary branch at 5850 Main St., Pelican State Credit Union gave away $4,000 in groceries Aug. 21 in less than two hours.

A line began to form at LeBlanc’s Food Stores about 7:30 a.m. and then at 9 a.m., $20 vouchers were given to shoppers visiting the locally owned market, said Leigh Porta, of Pelican State.

No gimmicks, no catches, no purchase necessary, Pelican employees said to shoppers as they walked through the doors.

“Pelican (State Credit Union) rocks,” shopper Wanda McKinsey said. “I bought detergent and paper towels, and my friend bought a birthday cake.”

Sandra Smith, of St. Francisville, said she stopped by the Zachary market because she had to run an errand in Zachary anyway, picking up salads for lunch, as well as coffee and milk.

Several Pelican State employees from the credit union’s 10 branches assisted shoppers with their grocery carts, bagging items in reusable totes and carrying groceries to customers’ vehicles.

According to LeBlanc’s co-owner Randy LeBlanc, the influx of shoppers was more traffic than the store usually receives on a Friday morning at that time, and most shoppers purchased more than the $20 voucher allowed.

“It was a win-win,” Porta said. “It’s important to support local businesses, and we wanted to partner with a family-owned grocery store for this event in order to give back to the community that has given so much to us.”

Slices of cake were given to shoppers as they exited the market, as well as financial information on the types of accounts and investments Pelican offers.

Across Louisiana, the credit union has given away over $12,000 in money booths at festivals and grand openings, $8,000 in free gas and groceries and over 1,000 sno-balls, a news release said.

The celebration continued Wednesday, with Pelican giving away a 50-inch smart TV, serving jambalaya and hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

For information, call Branch Manager Katherine Rogers at (225) 408-6267 or email krogers@pelicanstatecu.com.