Down home. Down the street.
Aside from Waffle House and Krystal, there are few businesses more identified with the Deep South than your local Piggly Wiggly.
In Athens, GA, a 340 pound black woman in a purple dress, Lonneshia Shafaye Appling, has offered us a preview of what is likely to transpire on “The Day The EBT Card Stops Working” in post-apocalyptic Georgia.
Are you ready for the future?
“The Georgia woman, 26, was so determined to shoplift beer, bacon, cheese, and chicken wings from a Piggly Wiggly that she punched, spit at, and pepper-sprayed store workers who confronted her as she tried to flee the supermarket Wednesday afternoon, according to cops.
Appling, pictured in the adjacent mug shot, allegedly hid items worth $88.27 in a canvas bag. She “attempted to check out, only putting one item on the counter,” according to a worker quoted in an Athens-Clarke County Police Department report.
When a Piggly Wiggly employee–who had been tipped to the pilfering by a shopper–asked Appling about the concealed items, she tried to exit the store. After worker Jonathan Orr tried to stop Appling, she “pulled out some pepper spray and sprayed him in the face.”
Responding to a 911 call, a cop reported spotting “a very large black female in a purple dress standing there screaming at two store employees” who followed her outside the Piggly Wiggly, which was filled with a choking cloud of pepper spray. Police then arrested Appling, whose rap sheet includes several prior shoplifting convictions and outstanding arrest warrants in three Georgia counties.
Cops prepared an inventory of the items Appling sought to swipe: five packages of cheese; eight cans of Coors Light; vegetable oil; chicken wings; and five packages of bacon.”
Why is this case so significant?
Because of her outstanding warrants in three Georgia counties, the unemployed Lonneshia Shafaye was probably denied access to EBT, which prevented her from acquiring the cheese, bacon, and chicken wings from Piggly Wiggly without resort to shoplifting.
In 2009, the New York Times reported that 39 percent of black people in Clarke County (GA) relied on the EBT card for sustenance. In December 2009, there were 1,506,211 people in Georgia on SNAP EBT. In February 2012, there were 1,891,077 people on SNAP EBT in Georgia.
In the past three years (NY Times data was from June 2009), there has been about a 20 percent increase in the number of people on SNAP EBT in Georgia. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that over 50 percent of black people in Clarke County (GA) are now SNAP EBT users.
Interesting times ahead for non-preppers.