Supply chain crisis: Mother of seven tells about the moment she cried in Coles

A mum of seven has shared the moment she broke down in tears after purchasing restrictions prevented her from buying enough meat to feed her family in Coles.

The mother said a staff member intervened when she tried to buy three five-pack sausages from her local Coles in Port Macquarie on the Mid-North Coast.

The supermarket on Tuesday restricted shoppers to buying two packs of sausage each amid the latest Omicron Covid outbreak.

Supply chain disruptions have left empty shelves in Woolworths and Coles stores across the country as truck drivers and other essential workers are affected by the virus.

She called for help from NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet, who also has seven children.  Pictured is Dominic's wife Helen and five of the couple's seven children

She called for help from NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet, who also has seven children. Pictured is Dominic’s wife Helen and five of the couple’s seven children

Supermarket shelves across the country have been left empty due to supply chain problems

Supermarket shelves across the country have been left empty due to supply chain problems

Supermarket shelves across the country have been left empty due to supply chain problems

“Hey Dom Perrottet, I cried at Coles yesterday when the employee told me to put sausages back because of the buying limit,” the mother wrote on Twitter.

“I explained that we had seven children and offered to show her my Medicare card and Christmas photos as proof.”

She appealed to Prime Minister Dom Perrottet, who also has seven children, for tips on feeding her children amid supermarket shortages.

“Some tips for feeding seven children when the government has abandoned them,” she wrote.

Although the mother was frustrated that she couldn’t buy two packs of sausage, she was quick to point out that she had sympathy for Coles’ employee, who was just “doing her job.”

A mother's plea for help after struggling to buy food for her seven children quickly went viral

A mother's plea for help after struggling to buy food for her seven children quickly went viral

A mother’s plea for help after struggling to buy food for her seven children quickly went viral

“This is a failure of the government and it bears the brunt,” the mother wrote. “But she did add that the limit was ‘per person’ and to bring some kids next time to do their own transactions.”

Although she received no response from Prime Minister Perrottet, many Aussies quickly gave her advice on how to get around the limits.

‘Why don’t you buy vegan sausages? They are better than meat and you also save the planet,” suggested one woman.

Others suggested going to a local butcher, as many still have plenty of supplies.

“Go to a local butcher, most have excellent stocks of meat and others, maybe try your fruit and vegetable farmer, they seem to have plenty of stocks too.”

Another shopper told the mother that she is breaking the limits by taking one of her older children to pay for the items separately.

‘Or do a double shop. Enter – shop and pay. Then go to another store and do it again. But that was exhausting.’

Dominic Perrottet says NSW government focused on problems in food supply chains

Dominic Perrottet says NSW government focused on problems in food supply chains

Dominic Perrottet says NSW government focused on problems in food supply chains

Many other parents of large families also struggled to feed their families with the supermarket purchasing restrictions now in place across the country.

“I only have three children, and as you should really look for food every second day with limits,” wrote one mother.

‘My family drinks eight liters of milk in a week and about a loaf of bread a day. I don’t stock up if I buy four bottles of milk and six loaves of bread, it’s my weekly shop.’

Another mom spoke of the “judgmental” looks she got from other shoppers when she

“The same, four teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys. We eat two loaves of bread a day and three liters of milk, no problem. The tins we get with six loaves of bread and six three liters of milk in the car… the people are so judicious.’

Shopping limits now in effect in Coles

Paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin – two packs per customer

Toilet paper – one pack per customer

Covid-19 test kits – one pack per customer

Chicken fillet – two packs from the meat department or 6 fillets from the delicacy

Chicken thighs – two packs from the meat department or 6 fillets from the deli

Minced meat – two packs

Sausages – two packs

Earlier this week, the national cabinet agreed to expand the definition of essential workers to address the supply chain problems that cause empty supermarket shelves.

The definition of essential workers now includes transportation, logistics, gas station workers, emergency services, correctional workers, energy, water and waste workers.

Food distribution, telecommunications, broadcasting, media, education and childcare workers are also classified as essential personnel under the plan.

Isolation rules have been relaxed for key personnel, with workers able to return to work even if they are considered to be in close contact with COVID-19, provided they test negative for a rapid antigen test.

The prime minister said the situation was a delicate balance between keeping people employed and protecting the health system.

“We know what to do… keep our hospitals up and running, keep our health system strong and keep as many people as possible in work,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

“The less restrictions you put on people to get them to work, the more pressure that could put on your hospital system.”

Prime Minister Perrottet said Monday the government is focusing on the problems in food supply chains.

“We will work with our health teams on that, but we have to prioritize here and ultimately our main responsibility is to protect people.”

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