Hello Friends! I just came back from a trip to Kroger, and I am fuming. When I paid for my groceries, they informed me that they are not providing any coin change. I know what you are thinking, you are thinking I am making this up. I wish it were not true. My first thought was, “What?!?! You cannot do that.” But sadly, they are doing it. And they are not alone. Many businesses are no longer providing change back.
This took me right back to my Welfare Days.
I didn’t have a debit card because I was living off such a meager amount of money that I could not even keep the minimum required balance in a checking account. I had no credit, no job, and thus no credit card. This makes mesick to my stomach as I think about the impact of all the restrictions— and now this! Thus the great divide between the “Haves” and the “Have Nots” is growing wider by the minute.
First, it was stock up for 3 months!
Ummm, ok, if you have the resources to do that, great. But they forgot about the millions of families who do not have extra funds to stockpile. Then, new restrictions as we reopen—from masks to special hours for older shoppers these protocols do not take into consideration those who are not financially secure. Policies are being set every day that widen the chasm and make it even harder to bring change to those who need help the most. But the most recent rules and practices are the tipping points for me!
First, Ohio came out with strict guidelines for sports like baseball and softball.
The kids can play, but only if they provide all of their own equipment. Ouch! I remember when my boys were small, and Ron was in prison. I could not have come up with a helmet, bat, and batting gloves for them to play. My goodness – that would have been my month’s rent! I could barely afford a mitt and the registration fees. I understand that we must take COVID19 seriously, but at what cost to our children and families? “No change for you!” is the message. With these proclamations, they say, “You will have to stay stuck in poverty and sit on the sidelines, only those who can afford to pay will get the perks. Suck it up for your own safety, and be glad we are protecting you.” NOT.
"I know what it is like to be marginalized, and it is a terrible experience." - Catherine Tijerina
Then, on top of all the other craziness, No Change at the grocery store! Kroger thinks they have solved the problem by adding it to your Kroger Card to use toward your next purchase. Of course, they would think that is a great idea—more money toward their bottom line. Whoever put that brilliant idea into practice has never had to count coins to pay for a gallon of gas or a jar of peanut butter to feed their children. I am infuriated at the selfish, stupid, inconsiderate things that people are doing. Her are two words for any corporation that is going changeless: STOP IT.
This blatant disregard of the millions of people who struggle financially is ignorant and reeks of economic superior-ism and bigotry. Yes, we must practice healthy behaviors to protect each other and navigate through the challenges of COVID19, but not at the expense of our children and families who are vulnerable and fragile. I know what it is like to be marginalized, and it is a terrible experience.
There are a couple of elementary steps our government and the corporations could take to minimize the negative impact on our futures.
Businesses: Find the change. If you want to stay in business, find coins to provide exact change at any cost. Demand that the Federal Reserve restart coins before we have thoroughly and irreversibly caused the destruction of our most impoverished families. The loyalty you will get from your customers will be priceless.
Government: Find out how your safety rules are impacting those who are financially struggling. ASK THEM. Then, revise the rules to accommodate them. For example, 2 healthy children sharing a bat and a helmet after sanitizing it should be completely fine since we all push around the same grocery carts at the grocery store. Find ways to include, not exclude. We all know change is possible. If there is a will and you have determination, we can solve any problem and overcome every challenge. No change is not an option. Keep dreaming, and keep working hard to build a powerful legacy for your family!
I am rooting for you!