Blair calls for priority access for online food deliveries for vulnerable

Priority access to online food deliveries should be given to those deemed as vulnerable, Alliance MLA John Blair has said.

The South Antrim MLA said he had been contacted by a number of constituents self-isolating for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic due to underlying health conditions. However, they have faced difficulties in organising online deliveries from local supermarkets, with delivery slots taken for some time.

Mr Blair has now contacted the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and Department for Communities to enquire about establishing priority access for vulnerable people to use the online delivery slots.

“What my constituents are experiencing appears to be common to many of the people currently self-isolating under advice,” said Mr Blair.

“In England, the Government worked with supermarkets to give priority access for online food deliveries for those deemed as vulnerable. We need to see a similar scheme for Northern Ireland, and so I have contacted the equivalent Departments to enquire whether it would be possible.

“It would make the lives of those vulnerable people considerably easier, especially if they do not qualify for the Executive’s food package scheme. Some local supermarkets have indicated they are willing to assist and are awaiting Government co-ordination of this scheme.

“This is a trying time for everyone but it is important we pull together and do what we can to help those we can. Priority being given to vulnerable people for online shopping deliveries would be a big step in that direction.”