Pirate FM News 6 minute read

Online food shop in chaos across Cornwall

Online food shop in chaos across Cornwall

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 11:10am 25th March 2020. (Updated at 4:56pm 25th March 2020)

Online food shoppers in Cornwall have reported chaos in getting supermarket deliveries sent to their homes following the UK lockdown over coronavirus. 

Shoppers have told Pirate FM that they are struggling to get vital supplies and unable to book slots until April at the earliest. It comes as the Prime Minister announced on Monday 23rd March that people should stay home and only venture out if it is absolutely essential. 

 

This has lead to a rise in people turning to online shopping to avoid going out unnecessarily and to abide by the Government's rules with regards to social distancing. 

However, many people from all corners of the Duchy have reported that getting a slot for home delivery and supermarkets 'click and collect' services is virtually impossible. 

We asked you what issues you were facing in your area and you commented in your hundreds. This is what you told us...

supermarket comment
Chloe Taylor, Penzance
supermarket comment
Lucy Clark-Endersby
supermarket comment
Joan Chilcott, Torpoint
supermarket comment
Jane Martin, Camelford
supermarket comment
Tabz Wilkins, Portreath
supermarket comment
Claire Hancock, St Austell
supermarket comment
Stacy Hatton, Four Lanes, Redruth
supermarket comment
Vivien Prynn, Newquay
supermarket comment
Gillian Kinver, Looe
supermarket comment
Tara Stuthridge, Helston
supermarket comment
Natalie Beal, Bodmin
supermarket comment
Gemma Cleave, Wadebridge

Following hundreds of comments, we contacted MP's from all corners of the county to ask how they were going to help with this situation. 

“I would like to reassure Cornish communities that the government is working closely with the food industry to ensure that vulnerable groups and older people can continue to get the food and groceries they need.

"Our food supply chains remain resilient and retailers are working around the clock to ensure supermarket shelves are stocked. 

“We encourage people to support their neighbours, friends and family members with their food errands. The public sector, local authorities and charities are already preparing to help those advised to stay at home.

Environment Secretary George Eustice

“We have changed the law around delivery times to allow work outside normal hours. We are aware that there is going to be a big shift to online shopping and we are working with supermarkets to meet this new demand.”

Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall 

"There is no doubt that many, many people are currently having problems getting the deliveries of groceries and other items as necessary.

"The supermarkets are working hard to respond to this challenge and the Government is helping with the PM announcing last week that they are setting up "hubs" around the country to arrange deliveries of groceries and medicines to identified vulnerable people.

"When asked, the PM made it clear that the hubs would be there to serve everyone, not just those identified as very high risk. Councils, pharmacists and members of the Armed Forces will help this work and there will be opportunities for members of the public to volunteer.

"In addition to this, already there are many volunteer groups active and willing to help those in need and my office is helping to identify people who need help and matching them up with volunteers from a database we have covering the whole of West Cornwall. I would urge anyone feeling worried about grocery/medicine supplies to get in touch with my office – 01736 363038 or email derek.thomas.mp@parliament.uk

"A lot of village shops are also doing brilliant work in arranging supplies for the most vulnerable in their community and last week I contacted George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, asking him to pay particular attention to the need for these smaller outlets to have a continuous supply of goods."

Derek Thomas, MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

We have also contacted Steve Double, MP for Newquay and St Austell, George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Truro and Falmouth and Sheryll Murray, MP for South East Cornwall for a comment. 

When contacting supermarkets on the concerns surrounding food deliveries, they said they are prioritising the most vulnerable and disabled people. In a statement, Sainsbury's said:

"From yesterday [Monday 23rd March], customers who are elderly, vulnerable or disabled have been given priority access to online delivery slots.

"We can advise any customers who consider themselves to be elderly, vulnerable or disabled and have not received an email, to visit our Groceries Online website for information on how to contact us. 

"We’re working hard to register as many elderly, vulnerable and disabled customers for priority online delivery slots as possible and are very sorry for the inconvenience long wait times could be causing. We are experiencing extremely high demand and advise that customers keep trying to contact us. We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible and appreciate customers’ patience during these challenging times.

"We are also operating an expanded ‘click and collect’ service for online grocery orders. Where slots are available, customers can place their order online as usual and choose a time to pick it up from a collection point in Sainsbury’s supermarket car parks."

Spokesperson for Sainsbury's

Tesco told us that it is aware of the high demand for online deliveries and that everyone is working to full capacity. To help free up slots, it says the most vulnerable, such as it's elderly customers and those who are self-isolating, are encouraged to prioritise shopping in store where possible. 

Also, it said that to ensure our more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in-store at Tesco, it has prioritised one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am (except in its Express stores). It is also exploring ways to help elderly and vulnerable customers with ordering online.

We have also contacted Asda and Iceland for a comment. 

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