On July 24, a photo started going viral on Facebook which appeared to show a receipt from Kroger with a “BLM charge.” People sharing the photo are claiming that Kroger is charging customers a fee to support Black Lives Matter. However, the company confirmed that the photo is false and the actual receipt reflected a “change shortage.”
The photo was first shared on Facebook showing a receipt with a “BLM charge” of 59 cents circled in red. The company has since clarified, however, that the photo was photoshopped and the original receipt was posted a few days ago as part of another claim that Kroger was overcharging customers.
Eric Halvorson, a Kroger Spokesperson, told ABC57: “It is not a fee; we’re not charging anything. This is just adapting to the shortage of coins in the system and we’re trying to be as creative as we can to help work through this.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Original Photo Was Posted a Few Days Earlier Before the Photoshopped Version Was Shared
The original photo was posted to Facebook on July 17. A customer wrote, “Stopped by Kroger today for just a gallon of milk. Seems due to this ‘Change Shortage’, their new policy is to round every cash purchase UP to the next full dollar!” The photoshopped image was taken off Facebook but has been saved to various forums, including this one. It shows the same receipt that was posted a few days earlier but with the 59 cent charge section photoshopped.
Kristal Howard, the head of corporate communications and media relations for Kroger told AP that the photo is “incorrect. Absolutely photoshopped. It’s actually a dupe of another receipt that was circulating online earlier this week.”
Kroger Is One of Many Stores Dealing With a Coin Shortage Due to the Federal Reserve’s Shortage Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Federal Reserve is experiencing a coin shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced on June 11 that it would be rationing businesses’ coin allocations as their inventory has dipped below standard levels. There are many reasons behind the coin shortage (more on that here), and it’s left banks, businesses and people to be short on coins.
Several organizations representing businesses wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve Chairman Jeremy Powell seeking a solution. In the meantime, Kroger and many other businesses are having to find creative ways to handle their coin shortages. Howard told AP that they’re asking for customers to pay with a card instead, donate the rounded up cash payments to charity or accept their coin change on loyalty cards for a future visit.
The outlet quotes a Kroger statement on their coin shortage policy:
Customers can switch their payment type (e.g., use debit or credit vs. cash), and through our upgraded technology, we can now load coin change to their loyalty card for use during the next shopping trip, provide coin change at a lane with coins available or round up their order to support The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, a public charity committed to creating communities free of hunger and waste.