Most people who coupon do so in order to economically feed and meet the basic needs of their families and perhaps even have some funds to put back. Some have hit upon difficult times do so to stay off government assistance.
Admittedly, that I become aggravated when facing an emptied shelf where items I was hoping to purchase were located. This has been especially true @ our local Riteaid where a group of ladies apparently hit the store as soon as it opens Sunday, however, these are not food items.
Personally I've learned a great deal from resources such as Southern Savers and some other couponing websites and from the extreme couponing show. Not everyone on this show are hoarders, however, because of a few over the top examples on the show (and I'll bet the producers have them ham it up) couponers are getting lumped in with these guys/gals. I doubt most of those guys/gals coupon the way the do on the show on a weekly basis. Reality shows apparently like to add drama so I do not think we should be judgmental of these folks w/o knowing the facts.
I don't know any couponers who would steal from their neighbors nor from markets, however, the constant chatter against couponers is a great opportunity for those who profit from advising manufacturers to embellish/ overplay the amount of actual extreme couponing, so they may increase their "services" and perhaps in the end we get less coupons..... lose/lose for us! These type of services are also pushing to shut down clipping services on ebay, etc., so lets not gossip, moan and bitch ourselves into a corner ;)