Low Income Does Not Equal Low Standards

One of the great things I have noticed over the past several months at MOM’s is how many people are coming in and asking if they can use public assistance (“food stamps”) to pay for their purchases. I see this as an encouraging trend, one in which people from all walks of life are waking up to the importance of not only good nutrition, but the value of ethically and organically created food.

As someone who experienced part of my childhood on public assistance after the death of my father, I remember that there seemed to also be the implication that we would use those funds to purchase low-quality, mass produced processed food with no nutritional value. I also remember my mother lamenting that she hated going into our natural food stores at the time as there existed a certain level of snobbery. She therefore experienced being made to feel like a lesser person for having to use that method of payment.

What I love about MOM’s is that we have such a strong set of core values, most notably that we reserve judgment. This makes not only working at MOM’s, but shopping at MOM’s a warm, comfortable, and safe experience for everyone. We develop lasting relationships with our customers, and they often open up to us about everything from serious health concerns to their day-to-day struggles. Because of this, combined with the fact that MOM’s has such great prices ($0.79/pound for organic fair trade bananas? Amazing!) we have been very fortunate to develop a dynamic and diverse customer base.

We pride ourselves on being open, fair, kind, and accepting of everyone who walks through our doors. We encourage everyone to take ownership of the environment and their health through responsible eating. No one who enters our stores need ever feel that there is shame in poverty; rather, we appreciate the dignity of those who choose to make the right decisions when it comes to their food even when experiencing financial hardship.

Elizabeth works at Alexandria MOM’s.

About ElizaMac

I am a knitter, spinner, weaver, mixed-media-er, etc living just outside of DC. I am a native Oregonian who moved here by way of Alaska, so the culture shock is pretty extreme at times (even after three years), but I’m taking it all in stride. I suppose if I could could just one phrase to define me, it would be that I love all things fluffy and twisted…
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3 Responses to Low Income Does Not Equal Low Standards

  1. charis says:

    You’d be surprised how many people are actually eligible for food stamps, at least I was. A couple friends of mine were eligible throughout grad school and it really helped out. Unfortunately for them, there isn’t a MOM’s in St. Louis or Hartford…..yet!

  2. alyssabdh says:

    This post makes me think of a friend of mine who was on WIC after having her baby. She wanted to purchase a V8 drink using her WIC coupon but the coupon would only allow for the V8 Fusion drinks which have a lot more sugar added than the original V8. The cashier at her local grocery store got loud and mean when she tried to buy the “wrong” V8, which was the healthier choice. At the time, V8 Fusion was in the middle of being launched nationally in the marketplace. It seemed that the WIC program as well as the grocery cashier was really making life more difficult for someone in need & who was trying to do the right thing nutritionally!

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention LOVE this post: Low Income Does Not Equal Low Standards on the blog #organics #health #ecomonday -- Topsy.com

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