Scottish Care statement on food shortages during Covid-19

Care homes and care workers across Scotland are facing food shortages. We all know that nutrition is important, so at this critical time we are calling to supermarkets and food suppliers to include social care when they are prioritising access to food and supplies.

Many of our care homes have relationships with local shops who sadly are unable to support them because their own stock is diminished as a result of overzealous ‘stock-pilers’ and other supply chain issues. We heard about one supermarket who insisted on applying a ‘2 items per buyer’ rule despite the shopper needing to buy food for over 50 people.

Our social care workers continue to go above and beyond, working long shifts to support our vulnerable and loved ones in care homes or in their own homes at a time of need. At the end of such a day, they need access to food to provide them, with the energy and nourishment to continue in such a role which is why they must be included in any offering of support.

We are hoping this call will also stimulate networks which could benefit both social care providers and the hospitality industry. Last week in reaction to a supply shortage of hand sanitiser, a movement on social media initiated by Mike Bain of Ardent Spirits led to an overwhelming response by distillers to divert some of their alcohol production to make hand gel. A similar community-led response could mean that local hotels and restaurants deliver meals to care homes. This would mean continued employment for hospitality staff, and that their fridges of food do not go to waste because of social distancing instigated as a result of Covid-19.

Coronavirus has brought out both the best and the worst in people yet it is clear that whilst we are facing many challenges, new connections and collaborations, and our recognition of value will remain. This is time for us all to become part of history and support those most in need.

Karen Hedge, National Director