Kat’s story: Shopping with food stamps was difficult, now it’s impossible

older man pushing groceries (via Flickr/Christos Tsirbas)

Photo via Flickr/Christos Tsirbas

Last month, Just Harvest received this communication from a woman named Kat who was responding to our post about grocery shopping with food stamps during a pandemic. She wanted to share her story to help make people aware of this issue.


I am a senior citizen and am having a hard time getting food. The grocery delivery in Pennsylvania will not accept EBT as payment.

I live on Social Security and do not have much money after bills are paid. I am disabled and I have no vehicle, so before this coronavirus hit us I would take my cart and walk a mile to the grocery store to get food with my EBT.

With this pandemic I am scared to go into a grocery store as I am senior and disabled and can easily get this virus. I ordered some food online to be delivered with the little money I had.

Now I am broke and out of food. I do not have anyone to help me go to get me food. My son who lives with me is disabled and cannot help me. We have no car.

I have tried Walmart and Amazon as I saw they accept EBT, but not in Pennsylvania. Something needs to be done to help the elderly who are not rich.

I worked for 36 years and had everything I needed, then I lost most of my immediate family (five people) within a two year period to cancer. They were my life, my soul. They were all I had and my support system. So here I sit in a run down apartment because I lost my house, my truck – everything – because I was the caregiver of my family and had no way to pay my bills.

I only ask that the people who have had a hard life and not much money to be able to at least get food during this pandemic. It is very hard to live in America being poor, and so many people are.

I never ask for help but not to be able to get food because I am on food stamps seems kind of discriminatory. Thank you for listening.

What You Can Do

orange arrow Government’s failure to protect food stamp shoppers during this pandemic is putting their health at unnecessary risk. Support this new federal legislation that aims to help.

orange arrow Contact your PA state legislator in regards to recent action at the state level on this issue.

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2 Responses to Kat’s story: Shopping with food stamps was difficult, now it’s impossible

  1. Avatar
    Tawanda May 7, 2020 at 6:39 pm #

    Walmart use a service called pick up point and they now allow you to utilize ebt for food but delivery times are limited. I am will to volunteer for some senior citizens to shop and deliver groceries if something was put in place to hep. I work for instacart and in the Pittsburgh group we have over 1000 shoppers i know i can get some extra volunteers

  2. Avatar
    Kat June 7, 2020 at 5:41 am #

    Thank you so very much for offering your service to help senior citizens. I am happy to hear Walmart will let you use your EBT card for pick up. I do not own a vehicle so that will not help me. But very helpful for others. I live in Erie, PA and they offer nothing. I have wrote to our Gov. Wolfe about this and his reply had nothing to do with my question so it was a waste of time writing to him. I wrote to our senators and hopefully will get a better response from them. It has been 4 months since Senator Robert Casey introduced the bill and we have not heard anything since. Last time I had to walk miles with my cart to a grocery store with my mask and scared about contacting the virus as I am a senior citizen with health issues. I did it but it took everything out of me to get there and back. I really wish they could approve the bill now and we would be able to utilize that service. This would really help so many seniors and others without putting their health at risk. To me this seems discriminatory against certain kind of shoppers. I now need groceries again and I am so not looking forward to walking there again and just pray to the Almighty to give me the strength and keep me safe. Thank you so much for replying to my story.

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