HuffPost: What It’s Like to Go Grocery Shopping When You’re Poor

The Oklahoma winter wind made my eyes water as I steered my grocery cart toward the store entrance. I patted my coat pocket to reassure myself my WIC vouchers were in place and dipped my hand inside my purse until my fingers brushed the envelope with my grocery money.

Vouchers, check.

Grocery money, check.

Knot in stomach, check.

It was 1995 and I was poor.

I didn’t look poor. I was neat and clean with a neat, clean kid and a neat, clean car. My wool jacket was a holdover from a time I could afford expensive clothes. My daughter’s pink parka was from a bag of clothes my co-worker’s daughter had outgrown. We looked like people you’d meet at playgroup or book club.

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