Army Dad Catches Couple Paying $800 Bill In Food Stamps. He Doesn’t Hesitate



When he woke up that morning, he had no idea what was going to happen at the grocery store. He thought things would be ordinary, but instead, he’d feel a rage overcome him like nothing he’d ever felt.

He couldn’t believe what he saw. It was the mere principle that offended him so much. He was going to make them pay.

Wouldn’t Let Them Get Away


The regular irritants for supermarkets are tantruming children weren’t even the reason why he saw red. He was used to the general norms of everyday shopping, but this was something he’d never seen before.

A white-hot rage was burning inside of him. It felt almost like a personal attack on everything he stood for. He wouldn’t let these people get away with this.

A Shopping Cart


What caused his rage was something as unassuming as a shopping cart. Most people would have walked past it, not understanding the real problem at play.

He looked inside the shopping cart again and felt the rage again. He had to stop himself from knocking it over. He knew he would do everything he could to make sure this didn’t happen.

Patrick Gibson


Patrick Gibson was like most other people. He had a wife and kids and loved them dearly. But one crucial thing about him was definitely a step above most others.

He was a tried and tested U.S. Army veteran who had seen countless deployments over the years. He never backed down from a challenge since he knew what was waiting for him back home.

His Family


He always came home for one reason – his family. They were the only thing driving him to stay alive. He was turned from a military man into a family man.

He promised that he would never let any harm ever befall his family. He thanked god every day that he had a family to love. Others weren’t so lucky.

Happy Life


Patrick had one thing to look forward to whenever he got home from a long deployment. He thought that he was the luckiest man alive to have Whitney, a loving wife, and two beautiful children, a boy, and a girl.

But the economy would take a turn for the worse, and Patrick would find that things wouldn’t always be so easy for the family.



With Whitney being a housewife and Patrick being the only one with an income, they had recently fallen into some financial struggles.

He would make sure that he put his family above everything else, even himself. He would cut back on his own meals if it meant they were fed enough.

Going Hungry


It wasn’t the first time he had to cut his rations down for the benefit of others. Some missions ran into unexpected problems, and he was the first willing to help others.

His family was more important than even his most loyal comrades, and now that he had to skip meals for them, at least they would eat.

Other Expenses


It wasn’t just food that they were worried about. They had many other expenses like his children’s diapers, gas for the car, their bond, and many other things.

He knew that even though he was going hungry, his family wasn’t. But he’d have to come up with a plan to find long-term solutions to their financial woes.



Patrick had to be clever with what little money he had left. He went to the grocery store and prowled the aisles, looking for any specials that he could take advantage of.

While wrapping up his shopping, he realized that with all of his savings, he could get his family a treat. But he was about to see something infuriating.

Being Quick


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 there.

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.

Gourmet Items


As the line of shuffling shoppers moved slowly forward, Patrick noticed wistfully that the two carts ahead of him were piled high. He couldn’t believe the gourmet items he saw.

He spotted fresh steaks, butter, bacon, cheese, shrimp, lobster–every luxury item he could imagine was stacked to overflowing in the two carts.



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 an EBT 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.

This was what had triggered the military man so much. Here he was, struggling while these people were abusing food stamps.

Seen Enough


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.

He wanted to make sure the people responsible would understand what they were doing. He just hoped more people would listen to reason.

Didn’t Need Them


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

The injustice of it all gnawed at him as he watched. How could this be fair? That is when he decided to do the unthinkable. He couldn’t help getting angry; it was just in his nature.



Patrick was in a rage, but he bit his tongue and snapped a picture. But wait, 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.

Inconveniencing Others


The two weren’t just shamelessly using EDTs when they were clearly abusing the system. They also inconvenience all the other people behind them in the line.

With so many items, they had to start diverting the line to other tills that were opened up because of the situation. This was massively selfish on their part.

An Opening


Thankfully, Patrick was one of the customers in the line that got diverted to a different checkout. He quickly paid for his meager goods as he watched the two still checking out their gourmet selection.

He thought that would be the end of it. But he wasn’t aware that he would run into them again. This time would be infuriating.

Loading Their Loot


Even after the couple got out of the grocery store, it still took some time to load the enormous amount of loot into the back of their car. This meant that Patrick was about to run into them while he loaded his stuff into his car as well.

He passed them in the parking lot and felt his blood begin to boil all over again. He wanted to remove himself from the situation, but it was too late for that.

Big Mistake


Glancing to his right, he saw them again. This was a big mistake because he looked at the wrong time.

What he saw made him even angrier than he was before. He could tell just by looking at them that they didn’t need the food stamps. They were definitely loaded.



The fact that these people were paying for their groceries with food stamps while they had fat stacks of cash in their wallets put Patrick into a state of rage.

But he had already made peace with what he had just seen and had decided to shake it off. He was about to calm down when he noticed yet another unacceptable detail about the two.

Head Down


Patrick knew a confrontation probably wasn’t the best idea, so he decided to keep his head down.

He turned to his car and closed his boot, but then curiosity got the better of him. He decided to have one final glance as the two closed their trunk. That’s when he saw the badge of the car they were driving. It was just too much.

Hyundai Genesis


The couple who had bought $800 worth of groceries were loading their loot into a brand-new Hyundai Genesis. To anyone who didn’t know cars, maybe this wouldn’t have been a big deal.

But it was a big deal to Patrick. He narrowed his eyes and pulled out his phone. He wanted to make sure he was right about his suspicions.

Worth More Than This Car


The Hyundai Genesis, according to a website Patrick checked, sells from between $15,000 to $20,000 more than his own family’s car. It was ludicrous to think that these people really needed the food stamps.

How had they possibly managed to afford a car like this while they were on welfare? They had made a big mistake.

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.

Expensive Model


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. They wouldn’t get away with this when he was around. He would make sure they would never do this again.

Social Media


He began his rant on Facebook with: “Sorry, but I had to vent. The picture you see on the left is the number of groceries, including diapers, that I was able to afford during this pay period for my family…”

It started out as a regular post, but it was soon going to shed light on the unfairness that was going on in the world.



He continued: “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.”

The post showed the $800 of grocery items on display. That would have been normal, But he didn’t end his rant there.

The Kicker


“If you can’t tell in the picture, there are two 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.

Brand New Hyundai


So far, it seemed as if the post was nothing but a rant about rich people. But he was about to drop the bombshell.

“…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 debit 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. Then he continued his rant, 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… ”

Not Fair


Patrick continued: “…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.”

He ends his post with a snarky comment, “So you enjoy your $800 free grocery purchase.” Needless to say, some Facebook users were as outraged as he was.

Voices Of Dissent


Most comments were positive, with many people saying that they had witnessed similar things. The community seemed to understand the pain that he was going through.

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. More people chimed in, being contrarian and telling him maybe he judged them too harshly.

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 and that the new car was a gift? How do you know that’s not the case?” someone criticized. But Patrick had the perfect reply.

Abusing The System


Patrick wasn’t about to take that. He knew what he had seen, and he stood by what he’d said. “Let’s just call it what it is,” he replied. “We can all sit around and believe in sunshine and rainbows, saying the old, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover stuff.”

“But the reality of it is that so many people are abusing the system that was put in place for struggling families.” Indeed, Patrick’s retort made some pretty good points…



Of course, then again, there were people who were even less supportive of what Patrick had to say. One woman decided to get personal and got a bit feisty with her comments, saying that Patrick had been “creepy” for taking pictures of someone else’s grocery cart.

She also said that, for all he knows, that car doesn’t belong to the shopper, and maybe they have nine kids. Alas, we have no way of really knowing what the situation really is. But Patrick had another comeback.



“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…” Patrick replied.

“…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 car. I am sure that hard-working people such as myself are giving her a free life, though.” So, what is the real reason for Patrick’s outrage?

Assistance Denied


His rage stems from the fact that he and his family were denied assistance by the state when they needed it most. Patrick protects and serves all Americans, and yet he does not qualify to go on food stamps. It boggles the mind.

And now, he was famous for speaking out. But how did he feel about the sudden notoriety on Facebook?

Fifteen Minutes Of Fame


On a brighter note, after Patrick’s Facebook post began to make the rounds, he seemed excited that it had gone viral. In this screenshot taken from Facebook, we’re given an insight into his state of mind as it was happening in real time.

Most people don’t get to experience feedback like this, so it must’ve been refreshing for Patrick to have his special moment. After all, he had been through.

It was probably invigorating to have so many people supporting him. But why did the post gain so much traction?

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.

There are 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 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 man wrote.

The issue of who should and does qualify for financial assistance continues to be a sensitive topic. But what if it’s a flawed system?

Do What Is Right


Regardless, it’s never okay to take advantage of a welfare system that is set in place for struggling families.

Not only does Patrick put his life, his time, and his energy on the line for America – but as a result, he has a lot less time at home to build himself a proper career.

Stand Up


If there’s something that we can identify with in Patrick’s story, it’s the fact that sometimes things are just unfair in this world. And quite often, there’s not much we can do about it — it’s just out of our control.

It’s not easy to run a government, but that doesn’t mean people are supposed to just sit idly by while they feel that they’ve been treated unfairly.

It’s always important to stand up for your rights. But the thing is, the couple couldn’t defend or explain themselves until now.

Defending Themselves


Because Patrick’s story went so wildly viral, the couple who had offended him saw it online and took to Reddit – a completely anonymous social media platform – to defend themselves.

Now, we finally get to hear their side of the story. Whether people think they were in the wrong or not, everyone can now judge for themselves.

The Other Side Of The Story


The 2020 Reddit post is titled “S***w You, Patrick Gibson” and begins like this: “So, Patrick Gibson, this one’s for you”

“Let me start by saying that my use of the EBT program for 11 months is not a handout. This is a social service that I paid into and do not feel guilty about using for a short period when there was no other way.”

“Not A Handout”


The lengthy, retaliatory post on Reddit continues, and it explains exactly why Patrick had no right to level judgment just because he saw a man and his wife using an electronic benefits card to buy groceries.

“For more than 30 years, I worked, paid taxes, struggled financially, and did without often,” the anonymous woman continued.

“You’re Welcome!”


“I paid my taxes so that you could attend public schools, drive on public streets, play at public parks, and be protected by police, firefighters, and our military. For years YOU benefitted from all of MY hard work and taxes. So, You’re Welcome!”

The post continues: “You don’t approve of my purchase because you think people who struggle don’t deserve what you consider a luxury?”

She Doesn’t “Owe” Him An Explanation


When you consider the actual story about the couple’s purchases, it becomes clear that Patrick may have been out of line.

“Not that I owe you an explanation,” the angry woman’s post continued, “but the two carts of groceries you disapprove of are for four people for two months. And that steak I “scammed” the system out of?”

Out Of Line?


The post proceeds to give some more background about the steak that had angered Patrick so much because it was a “luxury.”

“Well, we have been out of work for many months… all of our reserves were spent… we’ve cut every expense possible… but our son’s birthday was in a couple of days, and we didn’t have a spare dollar to buy him even the cheapest gift.”

The Steak


It turns out that that steak is their son’s favorite meal, and it had been a special treat for his birthday: “So, yes, I bought a small steak,” the woman explains. “It was his entire birthday, so go ahead and shoot me.”

If Patrick was reading this post, he probably would have felt some shame right about now. But what about the wad of cash Patrick had seen? Did she have an explanation?

What About The Wad Of Cash?


This post just goes to show that maybe people should think twice about blasting strangers on the internet before they know the whole story.

“All that cash you saw?” the woman continued, “Why couldn’t we pay cash for our food? That cash was RENT money. Are you angry that we actually use cash to pay our rent? Should we get evicted in order for you to feel that we are poor enough to warrant “your” help?”

Okay, What About The Car?


The woman also had an explanation for the expensive car that Patrick had seen the couple loading their groceries into – specifically, the “brand-new” Hyundai Genesis.

“As for that “new car,” you think I own?” the woman retorted, “Nope, guess again.” At this point, it’s really starting to look like Patrick didn’t have a leg to stand on.

It Didn’t Belong To Them


“My 9-year-old van is in the driveway in need of repair that we cannot afford right now,” the Reddit post continues.

“My very generous neighbor allowed us to do our shopping in their car, another reason we bought so much at one time. It may be a long time before we would be able to go out shopping again.”

Finishing Touches


“Basically, what I’m saying… You don’t know me. You don’t know my story. You haven’t walked in my shoes. But you want to judge me?? F–you!”

“Here’s another thought, Patrick… as a member of the military, your paycheck is funded by MY taxes. You have a job because of ME. You’re Welcome!”

Unfortunately, there is only one comment on the long Reddit post – it was posted on a subReddit called “Off My Chest.”

Only One Response


“Anyway, maybe Patrick and his stay-at-home wife should stop having kids if he literally has to skip meals to feed them,” the Redditor sniped in response to the story and the man’s retaliatory post.

The user continued: “He should also apply for EBT benefits since it’s so easy to eat steak and lobster on the government’s dime.”

Public Shaming


Sadly, we live in a digital world where shaming people online is common and ‘cancel culture’ is the norm. It’s almost impossible to scroll through our social media feeds and not see a post about “rude” people.

Or, like a recent video that went viral, an angry “Karen” refusing to wear a mask. With such easy access to camera phones, it’s very tempting to snap a picture of whatever or whoever has irked you that day. But should we do it?



While it may feel good to name whoever you feel has wronged you in some way, there are reasons why everyone should resist the urge.

Firstly, online ‘naming and shaming’ and cancel culture can have a huge impact on a person or business’ reputation and career – especially when the ‘shaming’ isn’t warranted and only one side of a story is presented on social media.

Don’t Do it


While public shaming isn’t a new concept, the digital age has taken this behavior to a whole new level. Public shaming also includes doxing – which is sharing someone’s private information without their consent.

So, while it may be tempting to shame someone online in the heat of the moment, nobody should be doing it. Not just because it can cause damage to the person being shamed but because posts can and do go viral, and you – like Patrick – may end up being the one with egg on your face.

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.