Coronavirus: Here to Help group issues plea to food retailers

Town councillor Tim Adams is part of the Cromer Cares Here to Help group. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Town councillor Tim Adams is part of the Cromer Cares Here to Help group. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

A Here to Help group in Cromer has issued a plea to food retailers to allow people to pay for goods upfront.

Cromer Town Council is coordinating a Cromer Cares group where volunteers can offer help to people in the town or surrounding villages.

The group has a basic system in place in Cromer with residents able to ring the Co-op on High Street after 11am and pay for goods over the phone.

The group even has volunteers in store to help with this process, and then carry out the deliveries.

And now the group wants other food retailers to join the scheme.

Town councillor Tim Adams said: “We have been urging our other supermarkets to adopt such a system.

“Ideally, this needs to occur as much as possible to increase the range of suppliers meeting this current and growing demand as more residents self-isolate.

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“These relatively simple changes would help secure the supplies at individual food retailers, but also mitigate against the pressures on their own delivery services and the lower footfall in supermarkets by ‘walk-in’ customers.”

Mr Adams added: “We appreciate all that the food retailers and their wonderful staff have done during these unprecedented pressures.

“The residents and the voluntary groups who are assisting them are now facing a significant challenge - how to pay for food and other essentials. Accessing funds to pay for goods is now a ballooning challenge.

“Promoting cash transactions during the pandemic is unwise, but also impossible in most instances, as residents will be unable to go out and withdraw the required funds. Few, if any, community groups will have access to terminals to take card payments.

“We cannot ask volunteers to absorb the debts of residents, or accept cheques on any widespread basis.”

MORE: Coronavirus: Thumbs-up from coach Joe Wicks for Norfolk schoolMeanwhile, many town and parish councils and other community groups have released funds where they can, to pay for some of the most vulnerable residents’ food and other essentials. In Cromer, the town council and Poorlands Trust have initially released £10,000.

Call 01263 512254/07789625033 for the Cromer Cares group or find them on Facebook if you need help or if you’d like to join the list of volunteers.