MSP Claire Baker has urged local supermarkets to ensure access for care workers as part of priority shopping hours and for measures to enable food banks to purchase required supplies.

While supermarkets continue to provide an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic, concerns have been raised that care workers and food banks are still unable to get the supplies they require.

Claire Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, is calling on local stores to ensure that care workers are included as eligible for exclusive hours for key workers. She has also urged stores to consider specific arrangements for those making purchases for food banks, in order to prevent volunteers making multiple trips in order to stay within purchase limits.

These issues have also been raised with the Scottish Government.

Ms Baker said: “Supermarket staff are doing a great job to enable people to continue to access necessary food and supplies during this period and I welcome the steps which are being taken to help limit the spread of infection in stores and better protect staff and customers.

“In order to alleviate concern over stock levels, some supermarkets are dedicating special hours for key workers, principally those working in the NHS. I am calling on supermarkets to also include care workers.

"These staff are working throughout this crisis to provide care and support to the most vulnerable people in care homes, often working long shifts, and this could help them feel more confident about getting the supplies they need".

Labour MSP added: “While the measures introduced to restrict multiple purchases of certain items are welcome and key to ensuring access for more customers, it is necessary for food banks to buy in bulk, particularly as many are seeing a drop in donations.

"Volunteers are making multiple shopping trips to stay within purchase limits, which puts more people at risk of infection.

"While supermarkets are working to be fair to everyone, I am urging them to consider making special arrangements for food banks. I have also contacted the Scottish Government to ask if there is anything they can do to facilitate necessary purchasing of multiple items for food banks.”