fresh voices from the front lines of change







This is awful, but I expect it happens every day and is only getting worse with the GOP assault on the “parasites”:

Cindy Nerger of Warner Robins, Ga., said she and her husband aren’t proud when they use their food stamp debit card to buy groceries. “I felt shy when I used them and my husband does, too,” Nerger, 28, told The Huffington Post. “I would try to hide the card.”

But Nerger said she never expected to be deliberately humiliated. That’s what she said happened last week after she argued with a manager over her bill at a Kroger grocery store. The cashier told her she owed $10, which Nerger said could not be possible because she knew food stamps covered the items in her cart. A manager eventually let her go, but not before giving Nerger a piece of his mind. “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!'”

By that time, Nerger said, several people had been waiting in line behind her, and other customers had started watching the exchange. It was too much. “I turned around and saw everyone beyond me and I just burst into tears,” she said.

I’ve seen some incidents at the store, usually it’s over some item that isn’t “allowed” which sparks a conversation in the line about why the state allows poor people to buy steak when they should be forced to hamburger or some such creepy judgement. But, as I said, this is only going to get worse.

And, by the way, it’s not because the president is being “divisive” by calling some Wall Street billionaire a “fat cat.” It’s because people like Erick Ericksson and Mitt Romney are going out of their way to demonize the most vulnerable people in our society as lazy “takers.”

People like this:

Nerger said she started receiving food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, when she became eligible for Medicare and Social Security Supplemental Income because of kidney failure in 2008. While she waits for a kidney transplant, she cannot work because of daily 12-hour dialysis treatments. Her husband runs a carpentry business. “If he doesn’t get a call [for a job] we don’t have any extra money for the month,” she said.

If they had their way she wouldn’t have health care either. But I’m sure we can count on the billionaires to be generous and give more than enough money to hospitals for the poor to adequately care for them. And gruel. I’m sure there would be gruel.

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