Updated: Mar 16, 2020
Pensioners shopping at Day Today Express in Stenhousemuir can pick up a bag of the essential items.
Those unable to make it to the shop themselves can even have them delivered for free.
Asiyah and Jawad Javed, who run the cornershop, said the act of generosity had cost their business about £2,000.
Each bag had cost about £2 to put together and they had delivered 500 of them. “On Saturday I was out, and I met an old woman, she was crying because she had been to the supermarket and there was no hand wash,” Ms Javed said.
“I feel it is not fair on elderly people, some can’t get out the house. We are delivering 30 packages to a care home where there are 30 people living, and we’ve got another couple of hundred in the shop.
“Some people are asking for them to be delivered as they’re old, or disabled, or don’t drive.
“We are just trying to help people who can’t get out the house.”
The forward-thinking couple had stocked up at a cash and carry before coronavirus hit Scotland and supplies of hand soap had run low.
“People thought I was going to sell them, but I had this in my mind,” she added. “I thought ‘it’s time to give now’, not when coronavirus is here.
“You don’t want to give them out when people have already got the virus.
"Other shopkeepers are buying them to sell, we are buying them to give away.”
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Some of the younger customers at Day Today Express ridiculed the pair for their generosity, she reported.
“Other shoppers are calling us stupid, and saying ‘Why are you giving them away for free?’
“But money is not everything, there will be the opportunity to make money in future,” she said.
Ms Javed said her own grandparents were dead but she could not help herself thinking of them during the Covid-19 crisis.
“We spent a lot of time with our grandparents and we feel that if they were alive we wouldn’t want them to be struggling. We are trying to help the older people out, if they were young they would have got to the supermarket but some of them can’t because they are old.
“Other people are putting the prices up but we are giving them away for free.”
It is not the first time the Javeds have looked after the vulnerable in their community, which lies a few miles to the north-west of Falkirk.
In 2018, during the so-called Beast from the East storm, Ms Javed and her husband delivered milk free of charge to elderly people in their neighbourhood who were not able to get to the shops.
Panic buying in many parts of the UK has seen supermarket shelves emptied of items such as toilet roll and painkillers, while online shopping sites including Amazon and eBay have seen packs of hand sanitiser hiked up to hundreds of pounds each by opportunistic sellers.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank
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