An Albertsons grocery store in Gresham, Oregon has been under fire after a cashier allegedly shamed an African American customer who was trying to buy food using WIC but was unable to pay for it all. Another woman in the line offered to pay for the deficit but the cashier rudely stopped her from helping the woman.
Jacki Carroll, the good samaritan who wanted to help, was more than appalled by the cashier’s attitude. In a Facebook post written by her daughter, Amanda Arnlund, she said that Debbie, the cashier who she described as white and in her 60’s, was being “really rude” to the woman.
She shared that the woman was short of $12 for the fruits and vegetables she wanted to buy using WIC benefits. The WIC program, or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, provides food assistance to low-income women who are pregnant or have children under the age of 5 who are at nutritional risk. The USDA reports that more than half of American infants are participating in the program.
Carroll offered to help pay but Debbie told her that “she got her free stuff from WIC already, she doesn’t need anybody else paying her way.”
When Carroll told Debbie that she was being judgemental and that she needs to show compassion, she snapped back and said, “well, that’s what ‘they’ do, they keep on having kids and getting handouts.” The woman left humiliated and without the fruits and vegetables.
Carroll talked to the store manager, who she said seemed nice but claimed that doesn’t have the authority to terminate the cashier.
Since the incident was posted on Facebook, it has been shared more than 9,000 times. Arnlund also started a birthday fundraiser to raise funds for the National WIC Association.
Meanwhile, Albertsons issued a statement through Newsweek that they are aware of the incident and they are investigating on it.
“At Albertsons, we have a policy and a culture of treating our customers, and each other, with courtesy, dignity, and respect. It’s at the core of who we are as a company and member of this community,” the company said.
“We sincerely apologize that, in this incident, it appears we did not deliver the customer service that we pride ourselves on,” they continued. “While this isolated situation is still under investigation, we are taking this opportunity to remind all of our employees that each and every customer is a welcomed guest in our stores.”