Walmart Sees 'Enormous' Spike In Late Night Shopping Due To Food Stamp Refills

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Occasionally, someone asks me why I don't cut Obama some slack. Stories like this one from Rock Center are why. Because when we have so many people in such desperate need, and so very little political capital has been expended to help them (especially that decision administration officials made not to help struggling homeowners, citing "moral hazard") -- well, he didn't step up to this enormous task when he took office. It is a disgrace that people are living like this in the richest nation on earth, especially where there's always money for military weapons:

At the stroke of midnight, a growing number of Americans are lining up at Walmart not to cash in on a holiday sale, but because they’re hungry.

The increasing number of Americans relying on food stamps to survive the sluggish economic recovery has changed the way the largest retailer in the United States does business.

Carol Johnston, Walmart’s senior vice president of store development, said that store managers have seen an “enormous spike” in the number of consumers shopping at midnight on the first of the month. That’s typically when those receiving federal food assistance have their accounts refilled each month.

“We’ll bring in more staff to stock. We’ll also make sure all of our registers…are open…Some people may think at 12:01, Walmart’s very quiet, but in a lot of our areas of the country, 12:01 is a big day or a big night for us, actually,” Johnston said.

Becca Reeder and her husband, T.J. Fowler, are one of the families shopping before the sun rises.

When NBC News visited their home six days before the first of the month, they had no milk in their refrigerator. Among the few things left were water, bacon grease for the dog’s food, a little bit of apple juice, cheese and tortillas.

The couple and their 2-year-old son, Miles, live in Nampa, Idaho, about a 30-minute drive from Boise. Reeder and Fowler married in September. She recently had to pawn her wedding ring to help support the family.

“As long as I got my family, I’m good,” she said.

The newlyweds are both certified nursing assistants but have been unable to find work in their field. Fowler is commuting an hour and a half round trip to a part-time job flipping burgers at a fast-food restaurant and Reeder is not working.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.