A new government strategy will see volunteers deployed by local councils to shop on behalf of vulnerable people
Retailers can now submit a form to their local authority that details the products, services and support their stores have available
The Association of Convenience Stores has urged convenience retailers to register their services with councils as the government unveils its new plan to feed the vulnerable.
Retailers can now submit a form issued by the ACS in conjunction with Defra to their local authority that details the products, services and support their stores have available, particularly for vulnerable people in isolation.
It comes as The Grocer revealed the government’s latest plan this week to help feed millions of non-shielded vulnerable people, including those who are over 70, pregnant or suffer from an existing health condition, who were struggling to access essential items having been advised to self-isolate.
The new strategy will see thousands of volunteers deployed by local councils to shop on behalf of that group of vulnerable people.
This new form will provide the information needed for those working at some 300 food hubs run by local councils to determine if an individual’s needs can be met by a convenience store, rather than a supermarket.
The ACS is also informing leading charities on the new services being offered by many c-stores, including home delivery and taking payments when the customer is not present, so they may be able to direct people to those shops.
“Local shops play a vital role in the lives of the customers that they serve and they are particularly vital in times of disruption, never more so than with the role we’re playing in helping communities deal with the impact of Covid-19,” said ACS CEO James Lowman.
The move comes as new data from Him and MCA Insight’s new Channel Pulse survey found two thirds of shoppers (65.6%) believe their local convenience store is doing as much as possible to support its customers and local community.