A few days ago, whilst standing in their drives – and keeping well apart– a conversation was had between two neighbours about how they, both in their seventies, might cope with buying food over the coming weeks. The supermarkets have no delivery slots for ages, the click and collect service requires a lengthy round trip, the Co-op feels unsafe because the aisles are narrow, so keeping one’s distance is a real issue. Even daily purchases such as milk and bread were becoming a worry.
Fast forward a couple of days: A trial delivery of shopping to a small area of the Parish in which over half the households are currently self-isolating for reasons of health and/or age. 163 items were successfully delivered to 9 homes. The relief was palpable.
Today, because of the immense efforts of a few very determined people and the services of an army of volunteers, we are providing a service to anyone who is not able to go to the shops for themselves.
Some volunteers are manning the call centre and taking orders, others are going around the village collecting meat from the butchers and bread from the bakery. Delicatessen produce, fresh fruit and veg is being collected from Mr Scorse and basic needs from the pharmacy, the Post Office and the Co-op. St Mawes Hens and St Mawes Seafood are taking and delivering orders directly.
Another band of people are giving up their time and keeping fit delivering all over the Parish. Some are on foot, some on their bikes and food to the further realms of the Parish will being taken by car. But no-one who needs food will be left out.
It is early days. We know there will be teething problems and we are still trying to iron out the problem of how to pay without needing to draw out cash – which is itself an issue – but we are now in a position to serve our parish with their needs. I imagine that our willing volunteers might baulk at delivery of exotic, luxury food items. This is about making sure people do not go hungry rather than letting them live in the lap of luxury. But if you want to add a bar of chocolate to your order I can’t imagine that would cause a problem – after all, this is about giving people peace of mind and a sense of well being in addition to putting food on their tables.