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Consumer Council launch a food delivery scheme

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TAXI drivers are to deliver bags of basic food items to Islanders in need through a new scheme launched by the Jersey Consumer Council.

Carl Walker, chairman of the Jersey Consumer Council outside Alliance Tesco convenience store in Broad Street, St Helier Picture: ROB CURRIE. (27872269)

The council has launched the Bag of Basics scheme, which will see taxi drivers deliver a £20 bag including milk, bread, butter, eggs, pasta and other items to the homes of people who cannot get out to shop because of the latest stay-at-home guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

After a call was put out to all food retailers in the Island, Alliance, which has four stores across Jersey and sells Tesco products, became the first to sign up. The initiative will start tomorrow.

The Consumer Council has put the costings and delivery fee together using data on food pricing it has been collecting since autumn.

Council chairman Carl Walker said: ‘We are delighted to be able to get this scheme launched with the support of such a big retailer in Jersey and thank Alliance for helping us.

‘We understand that all food retailers are trying their best to meet the demands of the consumer and food delivery is becoming more important as each day passes.

‘This approach allows the consumer to know exactly what they will get, keeps it simple for the retailers and easy for the deliverers.

‘We are aware that this will not be the long-term solution, but it is at least a step in the right direction.

‘In order for this to work for everyone, it has to be kept as simple as possible. Therefore, it is important that we do not discriminate.

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‘There are perfectly healthy or young people who, through no fault of their own but due to their own personal circumstances, simply cannot get to a food shop routinely enough to keep the house running.

‘This Bag of Basics is simple, and enough to see them through until they – or someone else – can do a fuller and bigger shop.’

Another positive aspect to the scheme is that taxi drivers, who have seen their workload plummet during the Covid-19 crisis, will be back in work.

Mr Walker added: ‘We have taxi drivers – who know the Island’s roads like no one else – out of work, and food retailers looking for more ways to get their items delivered.

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‘It therefore makes perfect sense to put the two together. And doing so means the food retailers can keep things simple, reach the people they need to, while allowing the drivers to earn a small amount also.’

Mick Tostevin, secretary of the Jersey Taxi Drivers’ Association, added: ‘We are pleased to be helping the local community by supporting the Jersey Consumer Council with their initiative to work with Alliance to offer Islanders the opportunity to purchase essential goods delivered to their homes for a set fee.’

To order a bag, Islanders should email askjersey@alliance.gg, giving their name, address and telephone number, or call 786746 between the hours of 9am and noon, Monday to Friday.

Payment will be taken over the phone so no cash is exchanged and drivers will leave the bags on the doorstep and knock on the door before returning to their vehicle.

The bag will include two litres of blue milk, a loaf of white bread, a packet of salted butter, six eggs, 500g of dried pasta, a four-pack of toilet roll, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of Heinz Baked beans, white potatoes (2kg-2.5kg) and fruit to the value of £2.25.

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