Thursday, January 09, 2014

A lesson in poverty

Went to Fred's Discount store today to get a new shower head. Three people at checkout ahead of me. First one was an elderly black granny with a preteen granddaughter. Granny was digging in her purse to pay for garbage bags. She came up one penny short. The clerk let it go.

The next was an tiny older white woman. She paid for the soup and crackers with a SNAP card. It was so old it wouldn't scan. They had to punch the numbers in. She was fifty cents short for the OTC cold medicine. She was going to use her debit card. I offered to pay the fifty cents because it would probably cost her a buck to use the debit card. She didn't want to me to do it. She dug way deep in her purse and found the fifty cents.

The clerk told us she had to use her SNAP card to pay for a snack at work. She only had thirty cents left on the card. So she had to use her debit card to pay the rest. Except she only had thirty cents left on that so she had find three cents in her pocket to pay the balance. She said, "Hey. Two days before payday. You gotta do what you gotta do. Probably went without a snack today.

None of these people were fat. Obviously the clerk has a job. They were clean, reasonably well dressed. Clearly they're barely surviving even with the paltry assistance. It's heartbreaking to watch it happen. These are people who suffer when the GOPers cut assistance for the poor because they want to punish the one overweight person who goes through the checkout buying candy and soda.

Addendum: No sooner had I posted than I saw this, about administrative incompetence in distributing SNAP aid in NC. They talked about this at the checkout. The cashier said she waited six months to get a card after she had already been approved.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home