Some vulnerable people still struggling to get supermarket deliveries

Some vunerable reisdents in parts of Lochaber, who are self-isolating due to the COVID-19 outbreak, are struggling to get supermarket deliveries.

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Vulnerable people living in self-isolation on Ardnamurchan and in Moidart and Fort William are waiting three weeks to get home deliveries of essential food from big supermarket chains.

In desperation, they turned to MSP Kate Forbes who has written to major supermarkets urging them to create more home delivery slots for rural communities to help ease the situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP said some of those who got in touch are self-isolating because of their age as well as others with underlying health conditions.

In some cases, Ms Forbes was able to direct people to community support groups set up to help those in need because of the coronavirus outbreak, with volunteers in turn delivering shopping to residents’ doorsteps – whilst following social distancing and health and safety guidance.

‘Obviously, lots of vulnerable constituents are now dependent on home delivery for their shopping anywhere but with the increased number doing so it means delivery slots are disappearing quickly,’ Ms Forbes explained this week.

‘People are understandably panicking and contacting me because they don’t know where else to turn to for essential supplies. If you have an underlying health condition, or if you are showing symptoms of the virus, you should stay away from the shops and remain at home.

‘I am immensely thankful for the number of big-hearted volunteer groups which have offered practical help by way of delivery the shopping.’

But she warned: ‘Not everyone has such assistance available on their doorstep, so against that backdrop I have written to the major supermarket chains to see if they can increase the number of home delivery slots for those doing online shopping in rural communities.

‘I recognise supermarkets are doing everything they can so we can all have access to essential items and fresh produce.

‘But it would be great, particularly now the government has relaxed restrictions around delivery hours, if the big firms could increase provision for this highly valued and helpful service.’