"There are other places residents could go to do their grocery shopping, but they choose to shop with us and this is our way of saying thank you," Kleit said. "We enjoy doing community events and hope to do more this year."
The event will take place in the parking lot, 327 E. 79th St., from 1-5 p.m., and music will be provided by local singer Carl Brown. Free six-inch hoagies, potato chips and bottled water will be handed out. Neighborhood food vendors will have tables set up in the lot distributing free food samples.
"For the cookout we wanted to keep it healthy. That's why we won't be serving any pop," Kleit said.
Healthy eating is what Linda Turner, 63, said she prefers.
"I don't believe in all that fried foods anyway. I don't know how people can digest that stuff," said Turner, a retired teacher and Chatham resident for 10 years.
Garner Beanland, 64, who lives in Grand Crossing, also shops at the Chatham Food Market.
"Even though I will be cooking at home on the fourth, I'll probably stop by the barbecue because I think it is good for the community," said Beanland, who recently retired as a hospitality worker after 28 years. "I shop [at Chatham Food Market] because their meats are usually on sale versus other places. I have been shopping there for seven years and I don't plan on going nowhere [else]."
The struggling economy is all the more reason Kleit said businesses should help out as much as possible.
"We tried to get sponsorship for other events but that has not happened yet. A lot of businesses are cutting back from sponsorship because of the economy," Kleit said. "But we didn't want cutbacks to hurt the community that has been nothing but good to us."