"We also have larger families too"

This letter sent to the Star was written by Chrissy Meleady MBE, Equalities and Human Rights, (S3)

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 7:27 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 7:27 am

I am the CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK and am currently seeking retail managers support, intervention and signposting.

My team and I are absolutely inundated with families and run ragged trying to advocate for families who are being denied access to basic food products which they need.

On presenting at shops these families are being told in all supermarkets that they can only have one to three items of certain staple products which is insufficient to meet their families needs.

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These families you see have within them larger numbers of children, young person dependents, so one or three packets of Uncle Ben’s Rice for example will not feed them all in a family with five or six children.

We also have larger families too.

For example I have been obliged to advocate today for a family who have nine children, two birth children the rest foster children all with complex health needs that require that they must go into isolation for 12 weeks with conditions such as cystic fibrosis etc. but the one-size-fits- all food restriction policy is causing the vulnerable diabled children and the foster parents and others with larger groups of children harm and detriment.

Please might there be a way to give regard to larger families so they can acquire more than one-three items, if they can prove their size, perhaps by way of showing Child Benefit and other documentary evidence of familiy size and composition, to Sainsburys and other food retailers in the UK so they as larger families can gain access to the basic necessities they need to feed themselves and their children?

I would be most grateful if Sainsbury’s could communicate internally and with all other food retailers this very important request and pass onto them my details if they require any additional information in respect of the above.

I would be extremely appreciative to all for any reasonable adjustment they can make so that children in larger families including those with life-limiting illnesses and other disabilities are not left hungry due to the restriction on foods allowed to be bought during this health crisis.