Tyler Perry Donates 5,000 Meals and Kroger Gift Cards to Atlanta Families in Need at TPS Giving Event After Seeing Thousands Waiting in Line for Food

Tyler Perry is kicking off Thanksgiving week with a major act of kindness.

On Sunday, the star opened up his Atlanta movie studio, Tyler Perry Studios, for four hours to feed 5,000 families with a combination of food boxes and gift cards for local supermarket chain Kroger.

Perry, 51, personally funded the event, called TPS Giving, and studio employees donated their time to volunteer and hand out all of the goods.

“Tyler was heartbroken seeing people all over the country stand in line for food so he decided he wanted to give back to his community in Atlanta,” a source close to Perry tells PEOPLE. “Hopefully this encourages others who are able to, to give back during the holiday season in a year that has been difficult for many.”

Cars lined up over 12 hours before the official start of the event. To maintain proper COVID-19 safety protocols, the event was drive-thru only, and all employees working the event were tested ahead of time.

The Madea franchise creator has become one of the most charitable celebrities, and this isn’t the first time he has helped his own community in Atlanta as well as people whose stories draw his attention.

In July, Perry gifted 1,000 Kroger gift cards to those living in Atlanta with help from police officers at the Atlanta Police Department who went door to door in neighborhoods to hand them out.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Georgia Slater and Elizabeth Leonard