A Georgia woman says she was publicly humiliated by a Kroger store manager over her bill because she paid for her groceries with a food stamps debit card.
According to The Huffington Post, Cindy Nerger got into an argument with the manager over a $10 discrepancy in her bill.
Nerger insisted all of her purchases were covered by her card, which was confirmed after half an hour of discussion with the manager and store employees.
“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,'” Nerger told WMAZ-TV. “And he said, ‘Well excuse me that I work for a living and don’t rely on food stamps like you.'”
Nerger told the station she started using food stamps — the informal name for the the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — after suffering kidney failure four years ago. She is still on a waiting list for a kidney transplant, and is on dialysis for 12 hours a day. With her family relying on her husband’s income from his carpentry business, she reluctantly turned to for the program for aid.
“I didn’t want to have to go there,” she said. “Nobody wants to have to ask somebody for for help, but it got to the point it was either ask for help or starve.”
In a statement, a Kroger spokesperson said Monday the manager had been transferred to another store, and that Nerger declined an offer of a $15 gift card in the wake of the incident.
Nerger told the station that all she really wants is an apology from the manager, and that she doesn’t think he should be fired.
“I think he should definitely be demoted at the least,” she said. “He should be put in a position to retrain and understand what food stamps does cover, as well as how to treat customers and how not to treat customers, even when you’re having a bad day.”
WMAZ’s report on Nerger’s run-in with the manager, aired Monday, can be seen below.