There’s a reason the grocery cart is full, and it isn’t hoarding

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Natalie McMillan

This is a scary time for everyone. Most of us have not lived through a pandemic like this. Our day-to-day lives have come to a screeching halt. It doesn’t help that stories are floating around the Internet of people who don’t follow guidelines or hoard supplies.
However, this is the time to be patient and kind with one another. Yes, we are all confused and stressed, but we don’t know what situation the person next to us is living through.
My mom just came home from the grocery store shaking. When my siblings and I finished putting the groceries away, she recounted to us why she was so upset. 
While at the store, my mom was in the frozen vegetables area. She grabbed a bag each of carrots, peas, corn and brussel sprouts, smiling to herself while thinking about the number of lunches and dinners they could help cover. She threw them on top of the piling groceries in her cart, adding up how much that would be to ensure there was money for next week’s groceries. 
Her thoughts were interrupted by a woman standing next to her. This woman pointed her finger at my mom, raising her voice while stating, “You’re hoarding all the food.”
My mom stared down the lady’s finger as she continued to shout accusations at my mom. Eyes around the store swiveled, glaring at my mom. My mom’s cheeks flushed as she looked back at the still full grocery shelves. 
My mom took in a shaky breath before turning back to the woman. “How many people are in your household?”
“Two,” the woman said. “Me and my husband.”
My mom nodded her head. “Well, this,” she motions to her basket, “is going to feed my family of six. Four of which are teenagers while the rest are adults.”
She still looked shaken up as she sat at her desk, hours after the lady confronted her.
Despite the full looking cart, there was only food: no toilet paper or paper towels like the stories of the people hoarding on the internet. There was just enough food to feed my dad, my mom, my two sisters, my six foot brother and me for only five days– not to mention the dog food that we were running incredibly low on.
As we are making our way through these difficult times, please be kind to one another. You don’t know the full story of the person next to you. Not everyone lives the same as you. Be patient and please don’t be quick to judge.