One Georgia woman is on the front lines of the battle for the 47 percent.
Kroger, America's largest grocery chain, has transferred one of its store managers after customer Cindy Nerger accused the manager of mocking her for using food stamps, local news outlet 13WMAZ reports. Last week, she says, the manager told Nerger that her purchases weren’t covered by food stamps. The manager later acknowledged that food stamps covered all the items in Nergers’ cart, but reportedly went on to say, "Well excuse me that I work for a living and don't rely on food stamps like you.''
Nerger spends 12 hours a day on dialysis and has been waiting for a kidney transplant for years, according to an earlier 13WMAZ article. Her family relies on the income of her husband, who only works part time so he can care for her.
She's just one example of the many Americans propped up by the U.S. food stamp program, one of many government safety net options to become a hot button issue during the election season. Food stamp use has spiked 51 percent since October 2008, hitting an all-time high in June, according to a Department of Agriculture report released earlier this month.
Despite the growing number of Americans relying on government assistance to feed their families, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has proposed slashing food stamp spending and turning it into a block grant program.
In addition, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sparked outrage last week, even amongst Republicans, when a video leaked of the former Massachusetts governor telling wealthy donors that it isn’t his job to worry about 47 percent of Americans -- specifically those that feel entitled to government benefits, don’t pay income taxes and see themselves as victims. The Obama campaign released its first ad Monday targeting Romney over the comments.
Obama has himself managed to slow the growth of food stamp use during his presidency, according to the USDA. Still, nearly 20 percent of Americans haven't had enough money to put food on the table at least once in the past year, according to a recent Gallup report.