The campaign, which was prompted by one of the most popular motions passed at the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament last year, has allowed people from across Northern Ireland to show their support by signing a petition which will be used to put pressure on food retailers to introduce such a scheme here. The petition can be signed online at www.silversaver.org.uk. Alternatively, supporters may get their petition postcards by phoning 028 9031 2089 to request a batch.
Mr Dickson said: “It has been proven that older people spend a higher proportion of their income on food than any other age group; with someone over 75 spending almost twice as much on food than someone under 30. This means older people are finding it harder to keep up with hikes in food prices. That is why I, together with Age Sector Platform, am calling on food retailers to introduce a Pensioner Discount Day to enable older people to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
Michael Monaghan from Age Sector Platform commented: “Having left the starting blocks in 2012, this campaign has already gained the support of over 7,000 people. Drastic increases in food prices, and the older population’s inability to keep pace, has meant affording the weekly shop is a constant worry for many older people. At present, one in five pensioners in Northern Ireland is living in poverty. Rising food prices will push even more older people towards this hardship line.
Mr Dickson concluded: “I encourage anyone who would support this campaign, and I assume that is all of us, as we almost certainly know and love an older person, to join this campaign and call Age Sector Platform on 028 9031 2089 or sign its Online Petition at www.silversaver.org.uk.