Luminita Costache was spotted acting suspiciously in the produce section, on February 10, and stopped by staff when she tried to leave with a trolley containing £131 of goods.
Mark Stocks, mitigating, said she was unable to pay for the food herself.
“There was no attempt to conceal them, she just walked out of the shop. It was bound to fail in the circumstances, and indeed it did fail,” he said.
He said Costache, 50, of Dalestorth Street, Sutton, had recently had major surgery for cancer, and was awaiting another operation.
She admitted theft when she appeared before magistrates on Wednesday, and was fined £50, with a £30 victim surcharge and costs of £20.