A blind man says he was told by Sainsbury’s that he was “not vulnerable enough” to receive a priority delivery during coronavirus lockdown.
Matt Kirby, 48, is not able to leave the home alone for his shopping and has been forced to now wait three weeks for a delivery from another store.
Mr Kirby has had to rely on the generosity and kindness of family and friends to bring him food and essential supplies and is boycotting the store.
Mr Kirby says that he initially received an email to confirm that he would be given priority delivery, but claims he was then told later that blindness was not classed as a disability to make him vulnerable to catching coronavirus.
He said he was instead told to travel to nearest store in Scunthorpe – a 35 mile round trip – to pick up his goods from a click and collect facility, reports Hull Live.
“Being totally blind is not disabled or vulnerable enough for Sainsbury’s,” said Mr Kirby.
(Image: Getty Images)
“They sent me emails saying that elderly, disabled and vulnerable people would get priority for delivery slots, and there was a number to register so I rang the second the line opened, to be told I don’t count because I’m not at a higher risk of catching the coronavirus.
“I can’t go to a store alone, but was offered click and collect in Scunthorpe – Sainsbury’s have lost a customer for ever.
“I know that they have to draw the line somewhere with the deliveries, but I can’t go out shopping by myself and have to hold someone’s hand and obviously with social distancing at the moment, this isn’t something I can do.
“If it wasn’t for deliveries of food and supplies from friends and family, I’d be scuppered.
“There must be thousands of blind people in the same position as me, for those with mobility issues or that are deaf that won’t be counted as part of priority delivery.
“I’m not one to feel sorry for myself – it’s not easy being blind and I just have to get on with it.
“Friends have been able to drop off food for me and say hello a couple of metres away, so I’m lucky.
“I didn’t want to panic buy, so I’ve just got some tins and frozen veg in but that’s it – I don’t know how long it will last, but it will beenough to get me through the three weeks until a delivery from Morrison’s as that was the least amount of time another supermarket could deliver to me in.
“So I’ve been okay, but there must be other blind people out there without the support and so provision needs to be put in place to include blind people in the category classed as vulnerable for deliveries.”
After Hull Live approached Sainsbury’s for a comment, the supermarket says they will now be contacting Mr Kirby to offer him a delivery slot.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are prioritising elderly and vulnerable people for our online delivery service.
“We are investigating Matt’s experience and will be contacting him to arrange a slot.”