Food­bank boss far from hoopy

Com­plaint over re­tailer’s on­line ser­vice

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Sharon Lip­trott

A frus­trated food­bank boss has urged Tesco to sort out its on­line or­der­ing sys­tem.

Mark Fran­k­land, who runs the First Base Agency in Dum­fries, claims prob­lems with the firms ser­vice could po­ten­tially ham­per vi­tal emer­gency food parcels get­ting out to those most at need.

He told the Stan­dard numer­ous com­plaints over the sys­tem have fallen on deaf ears.

And the fi­nal straw came with an or­der which in­cluded 99 tins of value spaghetti hoops at 21p each .

But when the de­liv­ery ar­rived they were not in­cluded be­cause they were “not avail­able.”

And Tesco’s prom­ise of “an ap­pro­pri­ate sub­sti­tu­tion” was one small tin of Heinz Spaghetti Hoops at 60p.

Mark said: “It added in­sult to in­jury. One half can. I know Tesco say ‘Ev­ery Lit­tle Helps’ but half a can? Does ev­ery lit­tle ac­tu­ally help when there are 100 food parcels to make up to get out quickly? Not re­ally.

“I ac­tu­ally won­der what on earth went through the head of who­ever made the call to send us half a can in lieu of an or­der for 99 cans.”

The food­bank, on Buc­cleuch Street, hands out more than 5,000 emer­gency parcels a year and, to­gether with do­nated food­stuffs, has to buy stock in.

Ac­cord­ing to Mark this has risen from £1,000 a month last year to the around £2,000 now.

In a bid to make shop­ping eas­ier the agency turned to Tesco’s on­line ser­vice which al­lows a max­i­mum of 99 of any one item.

But Mark claims a pledge to pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive at no ex­tra cost isn’t be­ing met.

He said: “It is so frus­trat­ing when you make an or­der and none show up, or just a few, and there is no al­ter­na­tive.

“I have lost count of how many hours of my life have been spent be­ing bounced around all cor­ners of the Tesco em­pire try­ing to sort this. Every­one prom­ises to sort it. I re­ally hope for the sakes of the peo­ple need­ing these food parcels this win­ter that they do.”

A spokesman for the su­per­mar­ket gi­ant said: “Tesco is one of the big­gest sup­port­ers of lo­cal food­banks, so we are sorry to hear of the chal­lenges be­ing faced by First Base.

“Our col­leagues work re­ally hard to make sure we have enough prod­ucts on our shelves to serve cus­tomers in store and on­line. We would be happy to dis­cuss how we can an­tic­i­pate large vol­ume or­ders to en­sure that prod­ucts are avail­able for every­one.”

Fed up Mark Fran­k­land with the small can of spaghetti hoops sent in place of the 99 the food­bank or­dered

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