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Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero Issues Plea: Think Before You Shop!

It’s tough for all of us during lockdown trying to get food when our fridge is looking bare. For many people who can’t leave their homes at all it’s proving extra challenging.

Supermarkets have reserved online delivery slots for priority shoppers – people who can’t shop in person because of disability, or because they need to stay home to protect themselves or others from infection. These priority slots are quickly taken up, which means at risk people need to find others to do their shopping, or ask for emergency food deliveries

Some people who can’t be left at home alone are waiting for lengthy periods in vehicles in supermarket carparks while their support workers shop. In the worst-case scenario, it may mean people are going hungry till they can get help.

For many of us, we have other options. We can afford to order deliveries from specialty or smaller suppliers, or we are able to safely visit the supermarket in person.

If you can free up your online supermarket shopping slot for your neighbours who most need them, please do so.

For some people who would benefit from online shopping it may be just too difficult to tackle anyway. Not all of us are computer savvy or have access to the technology. So, they might have to visit the supermarket.

It’s not a great experience having to queue at any time, but for a lot of people it can be extra hard, and even scary. It’s helpful when stores offer quiet hours or special checkouts for older people and people with sensory issues. Our shopping experience often depends on how we treat each other. If someone is anxious or confused, stay kind and patient.

We don’t know what’s really going on for each other, but we are all in this together.

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