Nicole Marso, a mom from Colorado, is well aware of the stigma that surrounds parents whose families are on welfare. After hearing a stranger making a snarky comment about a mom using food stamps to buy groceries at the store, Nicole jumped to the woman's defense. In a now-viral Facebook post, Nicole explained that as a person who was previously on food stamps, she knows how judgmental people can be.
"Today I was at a local grocery store in the self-checkout and a mom with three youngins was in front of me," she wrote. "She was doing her best to try to keep three littles calm while she checked out. After she got all her goods scanned and kept her tiny offspring as quiet as she could she went to pay, and as she did I heard a lady behind me, with her nice Louis Vuitton purse, iPhone X in-hand, big rocks on her fingers and wrists, nice shoes (you get the picture), say . . . 'Of course she's paying with food stamps.'"
After the mom shot Nicole a look of embarrassment, Nicole quickly told her to brush off the negativity: "I responded 'do you boo, your kids are adorable.'"
"Food stamps fed my kids while I was building a business. Not everyone is here for a handout."
Nicole explained that even though she wasn't personally proud of the fact she needed her EBT card, she still had to put food on the table — and no, it wasn't filet mignon.
"Now let's talk about me. I was that mom," said Nicole. "I went to self-checkout in hopes no one would see me paying with an EBT card, I avoided checkout lines because what would the cashier think."
Although Nicole's days of using food stamps are behind her, she still keeps the card in her wallet to remind herself of the challenges she overcame.
"So why do I still have that card? Missing corners, faded out. Because I know where I came from," she explained. "When I stopped using food stamps I was so proud, I kept saying throw that thing out but I never did. And today, I know why. It's a constant reminder of where I was."
She also cleared up the misconception that families on welfare get the best food for free: "No, they don't eat steak and lobster they ration their monthly allowance between turkey [sandwiches], formula, and water bottles."
The takeaway here? You never know a person's situation, so don't be so quick to judge.
"Instead of judging a mom with a food stamps card, remember we aren't all born at the top, some of us have to build that way," said Nicole. "We're all moms out here doing the best we can. Food stamps fed my kids while I was building a business. Not everyone is here for a handout."