Army Dad Snaps Pic After Spotting What’s In Shopper’s Grocery Cart


He looked over at the shopper's grocery cart and was so incensed that he had to snap a photo. It seemed like an ordinary shopping trip, but he had no idea that he was about to leave the supermarket in such a rage. But it wasn’t the long lines at the checkout counter or the human crush in the produce aisle that set him off.

It wasn’t the screaming children or the zombified mothers pushing their carts in front of him in a daze. It was another family’s shopping cart, and when he glanced inside he totally lost it.

Doing Everything He Could

Patrick Gibson was a hard-working man who did everything he could to support his small family. When he enlisted in the U.S. Army, he thought that perhaps life would get easier. 

It certainly wasn’t easy for him to leave his family for months at a time to serve his country, but if there was one thing his parents taught him, it was that nothing was ever given for free.

Making Do

Patrick considered himself lucky when he met the love of his life, Whitney, and the happy couple tied the knot shortly afterward. Before he knew it, he was a father of two–a boy and a girl. 

But the couple fell on hard times, and with only one breadwinner in the family, they had to make do with what they could afford.

A Family To Feed

Patrick often went hungry so that his family could eat, skipping breakfast so that his $70 would stretch as far as it possibly could. $70 doesn’t go very far when you have four mouths to feed, and after other household expenses like diapers, car payments, gas, and toiletries, the Gibsons were hardly making ends meet. 

But that was okay, Patrick thought to himself. He was happy with what he had. They would make it work, somehow…

Grocery Shopping

When Patrick had a little left over from his paycheck one month, he decided to visit the local Walmart to do some grocery shopping. He walked through the aisles, carefully selecting the specials and best buys, doing calculations in his head all the while. 

Maybe he could buy a little treat for the family today, he thought as he inspected the gorgeously red grapes in the produce section. Little did Patrick know, his smile was about to be wiped away.

A Treat For His Family

Patrick desperately wanted to offer a treat to his family to reward their patience and understanding. He didn't mind spending all the money he had left over so his wife and kids were happy.

He picked the red grapes he was thinking of buying as well as a few of his children's favorite candy. That's all he could afford and he was feeling proud until it was time to pay.

Getting Antsy

Walmart was full that day, so he didn’t want to be there for longer than he had to be. Children wailed as their tired mothers pushed them listlessly, and rude people rode into the back of Patrick’s heels with their shopping carts. It was time to get out of here.

He pushed his meager amount of groceries to the checkout line and waited to be served, never this small action to completely ruin his day.

Something Caught His Attention

Patrick was still trying to figure out if he could afford the extra groceries he bought that day when something caught his attention.

 It was another shopper's cart but it was different than the others and he couldn't help but stare at it with envy.


As the line of shuffling shoppers moved slowly forward, Patrick noticed wistfully that the two carts ahead of him were piled high. He spotted fresh steaks, butter, bacon, cheese, shrimp, lobster–every luxury item he could imagine was stacked to overflowing in the two carts. 

“Must be nice,” he mumbled to himself as they started to unload their goodies onto the counter. He never expected his next action to stir the ire of thousands.

Wait A Minute…

The couple’s groceries were packed and totaled, and it wasn’t surprising when the number that flashed on the screen was a mind-numbing $800. 

When the man pulled out his wallet to pay and opened it up, Patrick was gobsmacked. He pushed a wad of $100 bills aside and reached for something else.

Who Buys $800 On Groceries?

Patrick thought that the other shopper made all the shopping for the month in one go. But, except for the necessary groceries that every household needs Patrick couldn't ignore the luxury items that were in the cart.

"He should be doing well", he thought. Until he saw what the man pulled out of his wallet. That's when he started to get confused.

The Cashier Looked At Patrick

When the cashier saw the man skip the $100 bills, she exchanged looks with Patrick. That's when he knew it wasn't just him.

The man really did choose some unusual items that day, and they were pretty expensive, especially for a struggling family and probably an underpaid grocery store employee. But, instead of paying with his money, the man chose something completely different.

No Cash, No Credit Card

"Maybe he needed the cash for something else", Patrick thought. He was sure the man would pay with a credit card and his nerves eased. He would soon find out just how wrong he was.

For a moment, he felt bad for him. Maybe he was pilling up debt to feed his family and all these luxury items were just a treat for them. That's when the man pulled a card from his wallet. No, it wasn't a credit card

The Cashier's Eyes Widened

He handed the card to the cashier. She looked surprised and gave Patrick another weird look, what was happening? He couldn't tell what was wrong.

Then he noticed the card that the man had just used to pay the whopping $800. That's when his blood started to boil.

Not Just Any Card

An EBT card, or electronic benefits card for those who don’t know, is an electronic food stamp system that allows state welfare departments to issue benefits via a payment card. 

And this is what the man was using to pay for all of his luxury items. Patrick had seen enough and angrily pulled out his phone.

Not Judging

Although it was not wrong that the couple was using an EBT card, Patrick was angry that they could handle paying for groceries themselves.

That is when he decided to step in and do the unthinkable.


Patrick was in a rage, but he bit his tongue and snapped a picture. Maybe he was too quick to judge, he thought, holding back his fury. 

After all, he couldn’t know what the couple’s situation was. But what he saw next in the Walmart parking lot was about to be the final straw.

Why He Was Furious

Patrick was working hard to make ends meet. He and his wife had done immeasurable sacrifices to be able to provide for their children.

He was feeling betrayed and obligated by duty to do what he did.

Some Military Families Are Struggling

While most military families qualify for the food stamp program, there are many that are left out of the program even though they can't afford adequate food.

Patrick's family was among those unlucky families. That's why he felt that he had to intervene and he wasn't hesitant to do so.

Loading It All Up

The couple took some time to load the enormous amount of loot into the back of their car, so Patrick had already finished paying for his three bags of groceries when he passed them in the parking lot.

This was a big mistake because he looked at the wrong time…


He had already made peace with what he had just seen and had decided to shake it off, but that’s when he saw the car they were driving.

It was just too much. So he decided to make them famous.

Taking To Social Media

The couple who had bought $800 worth of groceries were loading their loot into a brand-new Hyundai Genesis, a car which, according to Patrick, sells from between $15,000 to $20,000 more than his own family’s car. 

How had they possibly managed to afford it while they were on welfare?

Big Mistake

To Patrick, this extra detail of the family driving an extravagant car around just added insult to injury. For those of you who don’t know much about cars, a brand new Hyundai Genesis is a pretty nice car.

Sure, it’s no Tesla, but it’s a very expensive model of a respectable brand – and it’s certainly out of the price range of someone who would normally be on welfare. His blood was boiling as he took to Facebook to express his outrage.


He began his rant on Facebook with: “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,my self) 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.” But he didn’t end his rant there.


“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,” Patrick continued,

“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 debt card and then load them into the back of a brand new Hyundai Genesis.”


“That is about 15k-20k more than my car,” Patrick wrote.

He continues, incredulous, “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... "

Voices Of Dissent

Most comments were positive, with many people saying that they had witnessed similar things, but some Facebook users criticized Patrick for his post, saying that he shouldn’t judge a stranger on just what he’s seen. 

One person commented: “Do you really know their back story?” and added that maybe the new car had been a gift. But Patrick’s retaliation provided an insight as to why he had felt like an injustice had occurred in Walmart that day.


“Do you really know their back story? Don’t be quick to judge someone ’cause you’re angry. How do you know if that person works and their spouse doesn’t work because of problems? 

That all the money in their pocket is to pay their bills that the new car was a gift. How do you know that’s not the case?” someone criticized. But Patrick had the perfect reply.


“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 so I’m pretty sure the chick isn’t dying and no one gave her a free damn car. I am sure that hard-working people such as myself are giving her a free life though.”

Going Viral

It’s not surprising that Patrick’s post has attracted a huge amount of attention. It has garnered over 100,000 shares and hundreds of comments on Facebook, with many arguments both for and against his opinion of the couple who didn’t look like they needed government assistance.

One particular post about Patrick’s experience raises an interesting point.

A Controversial Issue

“My point is, a picture paints a thousand words and your version is highly bias. 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.” He wrote. 

The issue of who qualifies for financial assistance continues to be a sensitive topic.