Care home workers in East Devon ‘struggling’ to feed their residents have faced abuse from supermarket customers for bulk buying amid the coronavirus crisis.
East Devon MP Simon Jupp stepped in to help when he learned care staff were facing public anger for buying quantities of meat and fresh food to feed the elderly and disabled.
He said workers in care homes have been forced to venture into supermarkets to buy multiple supplies because their regular food distributers have had to stop delivering – becoming so overwhelmed by the demand from supermarkets.
Care staff have been accused of being ‘greedy’ for buying up fresh food and meat to feed their residents, said Mr Jupp.
Mr Jupp said some care homes in East Devon were ‘struggling to get food’ for residents because regular distributors were cancelling or delaying deliveries to prioritise supplies to supermarkets.
In a bid to help, the MP for East Devon has liaised with farm shops and local producers to supply their own fresh food and home-reared meat to wanting care homes..
He urged shoppers to consider why customers were bulk buying before passing judgement.
He said: “I want to flag this up as an issue. I spoke to a couple of care homes recently. Some are really struggling to get food.
“Staff in one particular care home trying to get more than one chicken were told by other customers they were hoarding food, but they weren’t. They were trying to get food for the care home.
“People that pick up more food in shops than it looks like they need, they might be doing it for other reasons.
“If they are picking up three chickens, or three packs of mince, they might be getting food for another care home.”
In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the MP for East Devon has compiled a rolling list of help available to residents, the vulnerable, and those self-isolating, through volunteer groups, town and parish councils.
The list of help of coronavirus help available in East Devon can be seen here.