Paula Tesoriero: Think before you shop

Paula Tesoriero: Think before you shop

August 12, 2020

As Alert Level 3 restrictions come in place in Auckland, please keep in mind those people who can’t leave their homes to shop or who might need help with their shopping.

Do you have a neighbour you could check in with and drop items off to, or help pack away shopping? Can you free up your online delivery slot for priority shoppers?

For many people who can’t leave their homes at all shopping for essential items will be extra challenging. Some people may find it hard to unpack groceries that are delivered.

Supermarkets have reserved online delivery slots for priority shoppers – people who can’t shop in person because of disability, or because they need to stay home to protect themselves or others from infection. These priority slots are quickly taken up, which means some people who need those slots have to find others to do their shopping or ask for emergency food deliveries.

In the worst-case scenario, it may mean people go hungry till they can get help.

For many of us, we have other options. We can afford to order deliveries from specialty or smaller suppliers, or we are able to safely visit the supermarket in person.

If you can free up your online supermarket shopping slot for people who most need them, please do so.

For some people who would benefit from online shopping it may be just too difficult to tackle anyway. Not all of us are computer savvy or have access to the technology. So, they might have to visit the supermarket.

It’s not a great experience having to queue at any time, but for a lot of people it can be extra hard, and even scary. It’s helpful when stores offer quiet hours or special checkouts for older people and people with sensory issues. Keeping hand sanitiser and eftpos machines within reach for people who use wheelchairs is helpful. Staff who wear masks need to keep in mind that not everyone can understand them easily if their mouths are hidden.

Our shopping experience often depends on how we treat each other. If someone is anxious or confused, stay kind and patient.

We don’t know what’s really going on for each other, but we are all in this together.

More information about support is available here.

Paula Tesoriero is the Disability Rights Commissioner.