Purchasing toilet paper and other basic items has become increasingly difficult over the last week as more people began bulk-buying in preparation for potential self-isolation over the coming weeks.
This has impacted many elderly Australians who haven't been able to buy toilet paper due to how quickly it has been disappearing from the shelves. Fortunately, Woolworths is stepping in to help.
The supermarket chain has partnered with Meals on Wheels volunteers in New South Wales to deliver four-packs of toilet paper to the elderly.
The toilet paper hoarding has continued in Australia despite calls for calm. Supermarkets have tried to counteract the bulk buying by enforcing limits on key items such as toilet paper and other long-life foods. Woolworths has taken it a step further and changed its returns and exchange policy in a further attempt to dissuade over-buying. Here's the new policy.
The Tuggerah Meals on Wheels was the first branch to receive a toilet paper delivery on March 13. More deliveries will go out across NSW over the next week. Recipients will receive the toilet paper along with their usual Meals on Wheels delivery.
"We run special shopping assistance programs for the elderly at various Meals on Wheels branches around NSW and our volunteers have faced challenges in sourcing products such as toilet paper for those we support<" said Meals on Wheels CEO, Les MacDonald, in a statement.
"We would like to thank Woolworths for recognising that Meals on Wheels is an integral part of all communities and for lending a helping hand at this time to support the most vulnerable in our community."
Woolworths has stated that it will also providing support to Meals on Wheels services in other states in the coming weeks.
"Due to the unprecedented demand on certain products in our stores, we’ve heard that many elderly and vulnerable people in the community are missing out on items they may need when they shop," said Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Claire Peters in a statement.
"While we’ll continue to do our very best to continue restocking our stores, we encourage all Australians to be mindful of those in your community at this time who might need help and ensure that we continue to support each other."
In the same announcement, Woolworths made assurances that it is working with suppliers to get additional supplies of toilet paper and other high-demand items into its store.
"Woolworths is working with suppliers to prioritise the production of smaller packs of toilet paper. This means more toilet paper packs will be available to more customers online and in stores from next week."
We’re all supposed to be practicing “social distancing” these days—and if you regularly visit, check in on, or care for an elderly relative, you might be wondering whether that means you should stop visiting them.