Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Nobody has come forward to apologize or repay.

Shoppers who went on a spree in two Louisiana Walmart stores could be lucky as the chain will probably be forced to accept the losses inflicted when it permitted hundreds of people to complete transactions with limitless electronic benefit (EBT) cards.

A customer takes a photo of the aftermath, aisles of overstuffed carts left for employees to restock as credit limits and order were restored. Where's the shame?

A customer takes a photo of the aftermath, aisles of overstuffed carts left for employees to restock as credit limits and order were restored. Where's the shame?


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Louisiana, EBT, theft, walmart, limits, spending, spree

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For two hours on Saturday, shoppers in Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana were able to buy all the food they could carry when a glitch in the Xerox system that manages the cards did not show limits for EBT recipients in the area.

As soon as some EBT recipients learned they could spend without limit, they went into a frenzy, clearing store shelves and some packing as many as eight to ten shopping carts full of food and checking out. Alarmed Walmart employees contacted the company's corporate offices to ask what they should do.

While some area stores closed, Walmart authorized the limitless transactions. After two hours of madness in which employees said the chaos was worse than any Black Friday, cards began showing limits again. As quickly as word spread, people with left overstuffed shopping carts full of food in the aisles and went home laving harried employees to spend the next day restocking.

The entire spectacle was an example of ingratitude and human embarrassment for those who participated in the virtual riot. The behavior of those who took advantage of the system is theft and the chaos they created, and then left in their wake for fellow members of their community to clean up, is despicable.

While responsibility for the display of human ingratitude is borne by the individual, Walmart also bears a portion of the responsibility.

According to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, which manages the state's EBT program, Walmart had the option of calling a phone number to verify the spending limit on each card. Since they chose to simply check people out anyway, Walmart is responsible for its own losses.

Perhaps Walmart executives thought they could stick the bill to the taxpayers and profit handsomely by clearing their shelves. On the other hand, as we hope was the case, they chose to err on the side of generosity than deny anyone what they needed. The EBT program feeds millions of hungry families and although some people take unfair advantage of the program, it still provides for people in need, and the innocent, particularly children, should not go hungry because of a crowd of unscrupulous people in two Walmart stores.

It is also possible Walmart feared any public backlash should they turn people away.

Walmart now has a choice to make. Under the rules of the program, Walmart is entitled to the funds each person charged to their card, up to their limit. Beyond that, it's a loss. Although Walmart can legally request records of the transactions and pursue payment from individuals.

It is unlikely Walmart would do anything that would offend the local community, which is its customer base. It means the stores will suffer losses for their inventory; however it may be better to chalk them up to sunk cost than to waste more money pursuing dozens of shopping carts worth of essentially stolen product.

In the overall scheme of things, Walmart is a major revenue generator and the losses are insignificant in comparison to its annual revenues.

And so, that is how hundreds of people, recipients of EBT, are getting away with theft and Walmart is eating a loss.

Perhaps the most tragic result of this episode is yet to come. The individual stores may face pressure to recoup their losses, pressure they will accommodate by cutting hours or shedding staff. This will leave employees to bear the brunt of the offense, just as they had to on Sunday, cleaning up after the disrespectful mobs.

In a greater sense, the near-riot shows the ingratitude of some people who use EBT to make ends meet. It was a revealing episode.

Americans may be off the hook for the Walmart tab, but it leaves one to question how much recipients really need the program and if they are at least grateful for its charity. The question is reasonable because the entitlement mentality that was displayed on Saturday is disgusting.

That disgust may manifest itself in the erosion of support for social programs such as EBT, which feed millions of Americans across the country. Less support ultimately means more hungry people as benefits are always subject to political will and debate.

The people who took more than their share from these stores know who they are. The right thing would be to arrange payment with the stores for the essentially pilfered product. Yes, Walmart is wealthy and can afford it, but it should be remembered that the people who will really pay are the rank-and-file employees and future recipients of EBT. What is right is right, there is no moral gray area when it comes to theft such as this. These were not starving people.

Let them think on that as they fall asleep tonight with their cupboards ridiculously stuffed with more food than a family can eat.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

What it was like to fly Pope Francis around America: American Airlines crew speaks out Watch

Image of The Pope blessed the crew, their families, and the plane during his tour.


Pope Francis' American Airlines flight crew has opened up about the spiritual experience, claiming the papal meeting was "like seeing God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pilot George Griffin, his co-pilots and 15 cabin crew members were picked from a pool of ... continue reading

New ISIS video features a 'cub of the caliphate' directly threaten US President Barack Obama Watch

Image of A young ISIS member delivers a threat to US President Barack Obama (YouTube).


A young ISIS jihadi was featured in an ISIS video dressed in army fatigues and holding a rocket launcher as he  delivered a threat to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy who looks to be no more than 10-years-old was recorded ... continue reading

Did Clinton hide the discovery of the Khobar Towers bombers? Watch

Image of Former US President Bill Clinton (Brothersoft)


In order to reestablish diplomatic ties with Tehran, former U.S. President Bill Clinton hid the discovery of Iran's involvement of the Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in 1996. The allegations are not new, but in a recent report, heavy evidence ... continue reading

Terrorists can easily enter the U.S. through Texas/Mexico border Watch

Image of


Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, warned the U.S. was vulnerable in terms of infiltration through the country's southern border. McCraw reported some people coming from countries flagged to have "terrorism presence."  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

STUDY: Arabic, Urdu the fastest growing secondary languages in the United States Watch

Image of The most recent census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.


The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic spoken in the United States. There is also a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a nine percent jump in Persian, the language spoken in ... continue reading

California mother punched in the face by police files lawsuit Watch

Image of The police officer allegedly pulled over Cindy Hahn moments later on an alleged seat belt violation and arrested Hahn as her children watched.


The one sure thing about cell phone technology is that authority figures will not be able to slip easily from the law. A 40-year-old mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California after being physically assaulted by police officers in July of 2013. It was all ... continue reading

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... continue reading

Oregon shooting hero still in recovery: Donations for his medical expenses surpass $700,000 Watch

Image of Chris Mintz.


Chris Mintz left a happy birthday message for his nonverbal autistic son on Thursday before going to his classes at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Later, he reportedly set off fire alarms as a gunman opened fire. Mintz charged the shooter, was ... continue reading

Two farmers in Michigan unearth woolly mammoth remains Watch

Image of Because of the tight harvest schedule, the farmers gave researchers a single day to unearth the find. Excavators worked intently last week until sundown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two farmers in Michigan made a momentous find while they dug a drainage ditch. The remains of a woolly mammoth, enormous tusks intact, was unearthed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Bristle of Lima Township was digging in a soybean field early last week ... continue reading

President Obama shares how Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. makes him want to be better Watch

Image of President Obama with Pope Francis during the pontiffs visit to the U.S.


It has been a week since Pope Francis' historical visit to the U.S. However, his presence and inspiration continues to linger as President Obama revealed he wants to become better after his meeting with the Pope. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - The pope is back in ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More