Warner Robins, GA – Cindy Nerger and her husband aren’t proud that they require food stamps in order to feed their family, a shame that was exasperated when she was humiliated for using them at her local supermarket.
Last week, she got into an argument with a Kroger grocery store manager over her bill, reports WMAZ. The cashier insisted that she still owed $10 for the groceries in her cart, to which Nerger said she checked the items that she had selected and knew that food stamps would cover them. The manager ultimately let her go, but not before embarrassing her over the food stamps.
“He finally just said, ‘Okay, just give it to her.’ I said, ‘See, I told you it was covered by food stamps,’ and he said, ‘Excuse me for working for a living and not relying on food stamps!'”
Other customers in line behind her had watched the exchange.
“I turned around and saw everyone beyond me and I just burst into tears,” she said.
Nerger told the Huffington Post that she doesn’t feel entitled to the state assistance, and that she feels embarrassed already for needing it. “I felt shy when I used them and my husband does, too,” the 28-year-old said. “I would try to hide the card.”
She said that she is sure that there are some people on state assistance who are “just lazy,” but that what happened to her at the supermarket shouldn’t happen to anyone. “I’ve seen some comments from people talking about how they hate standing in line with somebody who’s got food stamps because they’ve got two carts full of food,” Nerger said. “Did you not realize maybe this person is not able to get to the grocery store but once a month?”
Food stamps and other state assistance programs have become a hot button in the upcoming presidential election. Interestingly, Nerger states that she doesn’t have cable, and doesn’t follow politics. “They’re all gonna kill us,” she said, voicing disapproval of both candidates. “Most of the people that we have to choose from — Obama with his spending and his health care reform, and then Mitt Romney, he just wants to let poor people die, so either way we’re doomed. So I don’t see any point in voting.”
A Kroger spokesperson apologized to Nerger and said that the manager had been transferred to another store. Kroger also offered Nerger a $15 gift card, which she declined.