Christians are being encouraged to “put others first ahead of ourselves” as supermarkets urge customers not to panic buy in response to reports of empty shelves.
“Our first call isn't the thing about how we can look after ourselves, but how we look after our neighbour. That process of us stockpiling means that someone else comes to the supermarket just after us, and really needs those products and they're not there because we bought too much of it,” Rusell Rook, chair of Christian charity YourNeighbour.org told Premier.
“The church has done a brilliant job of demonstrating to the world this year that we are the institution that looks out for others, that doesn't put ourselves first but puts the world first and seeks to care and love for those who need that most. I think we've got to keep doing that, because that's what Jesus says we should do.”
His remarks come as the UK’s biggest supermarkets have said they were suffering shortages in staff and supplies due to the number of workers self-isolating after being “pinged” by the NHS Covid app.
More than 600,000 people have received an alert on their phones asking them to self-isolate due to possible contact with a Covid positive in the past week.
However, supermarket bosses have recognised that shortages were “patchy” across stores and reassured customers that there was no need to stockpile.
Rook went on to encourage Christians to continue to be on the lookout for “neighbours or people around us” that might be in need.
“We do know people in our streets, in our neighbourhoods, in our families through our churches, who are struggling to get hold of certain products, or they're finding themselves in need, then keeping an eye out for those people and saying: How can we help to meet that need? What can we do if you are struggling right now to make your life a little better?”
A “narrow” list of sectors that will be exempt from self-isolation is expected to be published later on Thursday.