It had never crossed the mind of army dad Patrick Gibson that he would leave the supermarket feeling so angry. It was actually another family’s shopping cart which sent him such a fury.
In A Rage
It started out like any other trip to the supermarket, but it ended with him leaving the place in such a rage. It was not the long queues at the checkout counters or the tightly-packed shoppers in the produce aisle that made him so angry. It was not the badly behaved kids having public meltdowns as the mothers plodded along with glassy eyes. It was the shopping cart of another family. When he looked at their enormous haul, the military man felt himself absolutely losing it. He took a photo the cart and instantly shared it on Facebook.
Working Hard For His Family
A hard-working man, Patrick Gibson is doing all he could to support his small family, who is his top priority. He had thought that after enlisting in the U.S. Army, he would see things turning around. Even though he would have to leave his family for several months at a time, he would be serving his country. However, the time that he spent away from the people he loved was starting to take its toll. Patrick knew that anything worth having would not come easily, so he always tried to keep in mind what he had learned from his father: nothing in life is free.
Making Do With What They Had
Patrick was fortunate enough to have met the love of his life when he was young, and the couple got married shortly afterward. Soon, Patrick became a dad to two beautiful children — a boy and a girl. He was breadwinner of the family. Since Patrick was the only one working, the couple fell on hard times. However, they made do with what they had. It wasn’t easy but they got by.
Patrick often did not eat breakfast so his family could eat, so he often found himself getting hungry. He earned $70 in a month, and tried to stretch it, but $70 is not enough to feed children, buy diapers, and make car payments. After all their expenses, they were barely making ends meet. Nevertheless, that was okay for Patrick. They had each other and he was glad about that. He would make things work, somehow.
A Trip To The Supermarket
One month, Patrick was glad to see that tightening their budget had paid off. There was a little bit left over from his paycheck, so he decided to go to the local Walmart and buy some groceries. Before he chose the best buys and promotions, he carefully calculated the totals in his head. He did this as he was walking up and down the aisles. Perhaps he could afford the fat red grapes that he was eyeing in the produce section. Patrick was in a celebratory mood but that was about to change.
Walmart was full of people that day, so Patrick decided to do his shopping as quickly as he could. Soon, he became tired of the noise of wailing children and other shoppers rudely slamming their grocery carts into his heels. He wanted to leave, so he went to the checkout line, pushing his cart that contained precious cargo. When he got to the queue, he waited patiently to be served.
Overflowing With Luxury
The checkout line was shuffling forward slowly. Patrick had time to take a look at the shopping carts in front of him. He longingly looked at the groceries which were piled high. He spotted fresh ribeye steaks, shrimp, lobster, bacon, butter — practically all the expensive luxury that he could never afford. They were all stacked to overflowing in the two carts. Then, the couple in front him began to unload their groceries onto the counter. Patrick realized that both carts actually belonged to one family. “Must be nice,” he thought to himself. However, Patrick saw red when the man got his wallet to pay.
Couldn’t Believe His Eyes
The couple’s groceries were placed in bags and the screen flashed a mind-numbing total of $800. This wasn’t exactly surprising given the amount and kind of groceries the couple was taking home. When the man took out and opened up his wallet, Patrick was gobsmacked. The man pushed several $100 bills aside and took out an EBT card instead. An EBT card is an electronic benefits card issued by the state welfare departments. It is an electronic food stamp system. Patrick had seen enough and took out his phone.
The food stamps system aims to help people who are struggling to make ends meet put food on their table. There is nothing wrong with using an EBT card. Patrick was not angry at that. What infuriated him was the fact that the couple could actually pay for their groceries themselves, and yet they were using an EBT card. That is when Patrick decided that he would do the unthinkable.
Snapping A Photo
It was hard for Patrick to control himself and bite his tongue, but he managed to do it. Instead of unleashing his fury on the couple of big spenders in front of him, he snapped a photo. After he did, he began to calm down. After all, he couldn’t know the actual situation of the couple. He might have been too quick to judge. However, he saw the couple do something in the parking lot and it was the last straw for Patrick.
Loading Their Loot
It took the couple some time to load their enormous loot into their car. Patrick had finished paying for the three bags of groceries that he so carefully selected when he passed the couple in the parking lot. He looked at them. However, it would have been better if he hadn’t because what he saw only infuriated him again. It also pushed him to do something about the photo he had taken.
He had made peace with the things that he had seen at the checkout line. Patrick had made up his mind to just shake it off. However, when he saw the couple in the parking lot and the kind of car that they were driving, it was too much for Patrick. Needless to say, it was not a cheap car. This is why he decided to make the couple famous.
In the parking lot, the couple, who were on food stamps, were putting $800 worth of groceries in the trunk of their car – a brand new Hyundai Genesis. This particular car costs $15,000 to $20,000 more compared to his family’s car according to Patrick. The big question was how the couple managed to afford their car when they were on welfare. Obviously, things were not adding up, which is why Patrick shared the story on social media.
Adding Insult To Injury
To Patrick, this last detail just added insult to injury. Despite the fact that the couple used an EBT card on $800 worth of groceries, which included rib eye steak and lobster, Patrick was willing to let things go. However, to see the couple drive a brand new car while they were on welfare, it was simply too much. With his blood boiling, Patrick took to Facebook to vent out.
“Sorry but I had to vent. The picture you see on the left is the amount of groceries including diapers that I was able to afford this pay period for my family (wife, son, daughter, myself) which was paid in cash since I actually work hard for a living. The picture on the right is of the purchase in front of me in line,” Patrick started his angry Facebook post.
Patrick continues, “If you can’t tell in the picture there are 2 full buggies of groceries including such items like steak and some other very nice choices of food. Here’s the kicker. This purchase was made in food stamps.” He adds, “which I wouldn’t have a problem with if I didn’t see the person move their big fold of cash out of the way to get to the EBT card and then load them into the back of a brand new Hyundai Genesis.”
“That is about 15k-20k more than my car.” Patrick was incredulous. He continues, “I just thought I would take the time to tell this person/family that you are very welcome from all of us hard working/ struggling to buy food Americans that have to foot the bill for your fancy steak feast while I skip breakfast and lunch every day so my wife and children have food to eat …because $50-$75 dollars doesn’t go very far.”
Patrick’s post ends with a snarky comment. He wrote, “So you enjoy your $800 free grocery purchase.” Some Facebook users were also outraged. Like what he wrote in his post, there were others like him who work hard but still struggle to buy food, so his post probably struck a nerve with these people. It is also possible that some users just empathized with Patrick. Whatever the reason was, the post got a lot of comments.
Most comments were positive. Many people shared that they had seen similar things. However, Patrick also received some criticism for his Facebook post. There were people who said that he shouldn’t judge strangers on what he’s seen. There was one comment that read, “Do you really know their back story?” This person also pointed out that the new car could have been a gift. However, Patrick’s answer provided an insight on why he had felt that an injustice had happened in Walmart that day.
“Well the odds of that being the case in this situation much like many other situations with food stamps are almost as likely as me being approved for some government assistance because we are struggling …oh wait I forgot. We already got denied,” replied Patrick. “So I’m pretty sure no one gave her a free car. I am sure that hard-working people such as myself are giving her a free life though.”
So, why was Patrick so outraged? It was because the state had denied him and his family assistance when they really needed it. Patrick serves and protects all Americans, but he does not qualify for food stamps. This fact boggles the mind. However, do you think Patrick was too hasty to judge the couple purchasing luxury items using food stamps? Do you think there is more to the couple’s backstory?
It’s not a surprise that Patrick’s Facebook post has gotten an enormous amount of attention. It has been shared over 100,000 shares and has received hundreds of comments, with plenty of arguments both for and against Patrick’s opinion of the couple that didn’t look like they were in need of government assistance. Among the many comments about Patrick’s experience, there was one in particular that raises a pretty interesting point.
“My point is, a picture paints a thousand words and your version is highly biased. No one needs to thank you or anyone else for working for their grocery bill when the fact is that a majority of families participating in the program are working families struggling to make ends meet just as you are,” one comment read. Who qualifies to be given financial assistance is an issue that remains a sensitive topic.
Regardless, a welfare system must never be taken advantage of. It is in place to help struggling families. Anyone who has a conscience should never look at the system as a way to get free stuff. There are people out there who actually need the system, and some of them may not be able to access it if there are others who take advantage of it. Do you think Patrick getting angry was justified?