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Woman Ridiculed by Kroger Manager for Using Food Stamps -- Over the Line?


"Nobody wants to have to ask somebody for for help, but it got to the point it was either ask for help or starve."

This Tuesday, June 12, 2012, photo shows a Kroger grocery store in Dearborn, Mich. The Kroger Co. said Thursday, June 14, 2012, its net income edged up slightly in the first quarter as its customer loyalty programs helped drive up revenue. The company also raised its full-year earnings outlook.Credit: AP

The co-manager of a Kroger in Warner Robins, Ga. has been transferred after he allegedly ridiculed a woman for using food stamps to pay for her groceries, WMAZ reports.

While most conservatives argue that entitlement programs are out of control in the United States, most also admit there are instances where people truly need government assistance, and food stamps can prevent people from going hungry.

Cindy Nerger appears to fall into that category. She has been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant for five years. She spends about 12 hours on dialysis each day and takes care of her grandmother, according to WMAZ.

Nerger is unable to work due to her disability and her family lives of her husband's income. However, he only works part-time so he can be at home to help his wife. Needless to say, things are tight for Nerger and her family.

That brings us to the incident that occurred at the Kroger in Warner Robins, Ga. last Tuesday.

WMAZ has more details:

Late Tuesday night at the Kroger off Watson Boulevard, Nerger went grocery shopping.

When she got to the register there was a problem.

"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," said Nerger.

She and the Kroger employees went back and forth about this for half an hour when a manager acknowledged was right about the purchase all along.

Nerger says she is not proud that she is on food stamps, and the manager's actions left her mortified.

"I didn't want to have to go there, you know, nobody wants to have to ask somebody for for help, but it got to the point it was either ask for help or starve," Nerger said.

Nerger told WMAZ that she has worked since she was 15, that is, until her kidneys failed. She never imagined she would ever have to live off food stamps.

"I was upset, so, I was like, you know, I told you 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, recounting the experience.

"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," she continued.

Kroger sent the following statement on Monday announcing the co-manager had been transferred:

"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."

Nerger said she was also offered a $15 gift card and asked to come back to Kroger. She told them, "No thank you."

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Front page image via AP/Paul Sancya.

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