Grocery Loans

The Lempert Report
September 01, 2022

Phil: Also from across the pond, there's a supermarket in England called Iceland Foods and what they're doing to help their shoppers, they're offering them short term loans so that they can pay for their food. What do you think about that? 

Sally: Well, I like it, you know, loans are a really, really hot topic right now here in the United States. This is different than a student loan. These are small loans that come to about $30 - $120 American dollars. And they're these preloaded cards. People pay them back once a week. They're really just trying to help people that are struggling with inflation and buying food. And I think it's definitely something to try. 

Phil: Yeah, I think it's a real interesting idea. You know, it's not something new. For probably 50, 60, 70 years, those corner bodegas, especially in the Northeast part of the country, would have like a little notebook and, you know, Phil would go in, buy the groceries. I didn't have any money this week I didn't get my SNAP benefits or get paid yet. So they'd write "Phil - $42". And then when I get paid, I would go in, they'd cross it out. So it's been around for a long time and especially in food deserts, it really helps a lot of people being able to, you know, eat rather than just starve and go hungry. So I agree with you. I think it's a really cool idea and I would love to see, you know, some stores here, especially again, in the food deserts, being able to do this.