We all know that no one wants to have to ask the government—or anyone else for that matter—for help, but sometimes we have to. However, there seems to be an unfair stigma in this country regarding people who need that sort of help. It doesn’t help when they are deemed lazy moochers who lack responsibility by the Republican presidential nominee and his wealthy gang. This GOP hate mongering results in resentment by misinformed individuals who feel like they are working only to pay for those they deem too lazy to work for a living. Cindy Nerger of Warner Robins knows just how it feels to be judged unfairly, because of what happened to her in a Kroger grocery store recently.
Nerger went grocery shopping at the Kroger off Watson Boulevard late last Tuesday night, and when she got to the register, she was told that her food stamps did not cover all of the items in her cart.
“He told me I owed him 10 dollars and some change. I am not exactly sure what it was, but I told him, I said I am sorry sir, but there is nothing in my cart that is not covered by food stamps,” Nerger said.
According to a local news station, Nerger and Kroger employees went back and forth for roughly half an hour on whether or not all of her items were covered by her food stamp assistance, when a manager finally acknowledged that she was right about her purchases.
“ I was upset, so I was like, you know, I told that it was covered under food stamps, you know, so, there was no need for all of this, you know, and he said, ‘Well excuse me that I work for a living and don’t rely on food stamps like you,” Nerger said.
She said that the comment humiliated her.
“I honestly was angry. I was angry at first, but it turned into tears because when I turned around and I saw the people there I was like, oh my goodness, and I just started crying,” Nerger said.
Nerger has to take 12 hours of dialysis treatment every day, and she also cares for the elderly grandmother who raised her. She has been on a waiting list for a kidney transplant for five years, and obviously, due to her illness, cannot work. Due to the fact that the family relies completely upon her husband’s income to survive, they get government assistance in the form of food stamps.
Cindy Nerger is no lazy bum, though, like this Kroger manager implied. She worked from the time she was 15 years old until her kidneys failed.
A spokesman for Kroger, Glynn Jenkins, told 13WMAZ that he could not verify exactly what occurred, but that they are challenging Nerger’s claims. He says that Kroger employees who witnessed the exchange will be spoken to.
On Friday, the company sent this statement:
“We deeply regret that a Kroger customer had an unpleasant shopping experience. Kroger is conducting an ongoing investigation, and look forward to resolving the customer’s concern. We hope she will continue to shop at Kroger in the future.”
Nerger said that she was contacted by Kroger’s corporate office regarding her experience, and was offered a $15 gift card to come back to Kroger.
“I told them, ‘No thank you,” she said.
I can’t say I blame her. $15 is a complete insult when it comes to that kind of experience. The manager should be fired and Kroger should be paying for the Nerger family’s groceries for a year. Then, after that and a very public apology, they might consider going back. Maybe. I am personally not so sure I would.
UPDATE: MANAGER TRANSFERRED
Kroger has just released this statement:
“We deeply regret that a Kroger customer had an unpleasant shopping experience. After an internal investigation, we have decided to transfer the co-manager to another location. We wish the customer well and hope she will consider making Kroger her destination to shop in the future.”