The Rhondda AM has contacted the top bosses of major supermarkets to sort out home delivery slots for vulnerable people.
This week, Leanne Wood AM wrote to the Chief Executive Officers of Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Iceland to find out why priority slots were unobtainable for those who most need it.
Asda replied within 24 hours to say the hold-up was down to the Labour Government. Their Head of Public Affairs said: ‘We have been pushing the Welsh Government to provide us with the data for extremely vulnerable customers. There has been a delay on this – we received the data for England five days ago. We are told that this data will be given to us later today, and we have been holding delivery slots ready for extremely vulnerable customers and will be able to take online delivery orders within a matter of hours.’
The Labour Government has in the last day provided data to supermarkets to allow them to prioritise people in the ‘shielded group.’ They have now sent out more than 85,000 letters to people in Wales in this group to let them know they should be prioritised for home delivery slots with supermarkets.
Ms Wood said: “It is a relief that the people that really need this supermarket home delivery service can now access it. It is unfortunate that there has been a delay in sorting this. I hope the service is now up and running without any hitches.
“The many people in this shielded group that contacted me to complain they were unable to secure a home delivery slot will be happy that the obstacles have now been removed.
“If people are still having difficulty securing home delivery slots, it may well be worth approaching other supermarkets to see what they can do. In reply to my correspondence, Iceland supermarket told me that they – like all other supermarkets - cannot proactively contact people in the shielded category that are not customers already due to data protection rules.”
Ms Wood added: “Now that this has been sorted out, I hope people will still make use of the local businesses that have been doing amazing work to ensure people are supplied with food.
“When supermarkets were really struggling to meet the surge in demand, the local shops did amazing work in stepping up to fill the void and. Many of these businesses set up a home delivery service from scratch to get out to people.
“I hope people will remember this and continue to use the small businesses as much as possible for the foreseeable future. These businesses are the lifeblood of our communities.
“There are further details of local businesses in the Rhondda and surrounding areas that offer home delivery services in a handy poster that is updated regularly on my Facebook page – LeanneRhondda.”
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