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Senior short on money starts putting things away, and young cashier immediately steps in

This year, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, it’s been harder than ever for senior citizens to navigate the grocery store.

They’re more susceptible to the virus and its body-ravaging effects and the grocery store is a place where hundreds of different people might touch the same item in a matter of hours – spreading germs easily.

In fact, some stores have set aside early morning hours for seniors to shop so they can have a bit more protection from possible infection.

Another challenge faced by some seniors is their fixed income.

And in a time when people are stipping the shelves bare of staples and leaving behind the items people might not normally buy, it’s harder than ever to do routine grocery shopping and get everything on your list at a cost you can predict.

Layne McKeel knows how that feels. He headed out for a quick trip to the store for essentials a few weeks back immediately after receiving his disability check.

He’s not able to get out much because of the risk of infection and his pre-existing conditions, but the trip ended in an unexpected way when he loaded up his cart with essentials which came to $173 – $30 more than he had on him.

It turns out he had missed the senior discount hours and therefore miscalculated the total.

“When she said it was $173.00, I said ‘Oh no’ and I pulled my wallet out and I only had $140,” McKeel told WRCBtv in Chatanooga.

But the 17-year-old cashier at the local Fresh N’ Low couldn’t bear to see him remove anything from his cart – it all looked like essentials.

And she likely knew that spending more time in the store to figure out what he needed most or coming back later only raised his chances of getting sick.

“It was all essential stuff so I was just like you know, and he was like what do I owe you? And I was like no, it’s fine, I’ll take care of it, it’s okay,” said cashier Elizabeth Taylor.

It’s a big gesture not only for a teen but for someone likely not making much money per hour.

But despite the glut of selfish behavior we’ve seen amidst this global crisis, there has been plenty of good.

This young woman clearly understood what it meant to do something good for her whole community simply by doing this one good deed.

McKeel was beyond grateful for her kind and generous gesture.

“She’s just a little angel is what she was. You know, just the light of day,” McKeel said.

Taylor told WRCBtv that she had seen a lot of tough moments in the store over the last few weeks as people struggled to find and pay for what they needed.

“We’ve seen a lot of older people, and they’re all trying to buy groceries and a lot of places have ran out of stuff, and so the older people are kind of taking the downfall for that. I just try to give back when I can,” she said.

If there were more people like Taylor, our situation would likely be better than it is right now.

Be sure to scroll down to see the interviews with those involved from the local news.

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