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Cashier shames woman for WIC card usage in grocery store: 'They keep getting handouts'

Photo: KATU Report

GRESHAM, Ore. (KATU) - A Gresham woman's post about a grocery store clerk's behavior is going viral this week.

Amanda Arnlund posted about her mother's experience at the Albertsons grocery store last Friday.

Jacki Carroll was waiting in line to check out when it became apparent an African American woman in front of her didn't have enough money to pay for her groceries, after having already used up her WIC coupons.

Carroll offered to pay the $12 difference, but the cashier said that wasn't OK.

"[I] said, 'I will pay,' and she said, 'No!' Very abruptly," Carroll told a KATU reporter. "Literally, she raised her voice and said, 'No, you don’t need to do that.'"

Carroll reiterated that she was more than happy to help.

"I go, 'Well I don’t mind, just let her have her stuff,'" Carroll said to the cashier, described as a white woman in her sixties. "'No! You’re not going to do that. She has WIC. She gets her free stuff.'"

Carroll says she was in awe.

She says the mom left the store with what she could afford. She was never identified.

As Carroll approached the cashier, she says her tone did not change and continued by saying, "'That’s why they have babies, so they can keep on getting all of the free stuff.'"

Carroll told the cashier that she should be more compassionate and left the store with her items.

When she got home, she called the store's manager and told him what had occurred.

Later that night, she and her daughter wrote about the incident and published a post on Facebook.

Carroll is demanding Albertsons issue an apology to the woman, and even offer a store credit. She hopes the store can identify the woman using reference numbers on the receipt or information provided by WIC.

"Everybody needs to help one another," Carroll said. "No, I don’t have to give you money because you don’t have any, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about showing dignity and respect. If I don’t have any money to give you, that doesn’t mean I have to belittle you or say anything nasty."

Albertsons told KATU they were aware of the incident.

Albertsons sent the following statement to KATU:

"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."

"We sincerely apologize that, in this incident, it appears we did not deliver the customer service that we pride ourselves on."

"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."

When KATU asked if the employee was going to be punished, they said the incident is under investigation.

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