Jersey to introduce government-run food bank to help vulnerable islanders cope with no-deal Brexit

There could be a government-run food bank in Jersey to help vulnerable islanders cope with a no-deal Brexit.

Disruptions at UK ports could lead to delays to food supplies, and economists are predicting high rates of inflation.

It is thought a combination of products and vouchers will be available to those in need.

Senator Ian Gorst says the government will step in to provide help for those who need it the most.

Senator Ian Gorst says more will be revealed about the foodbank in the coming weeks. Credit: ITV Channel TV

We've seen the Yellowhammer document, we've seen the Bank of England talking, we've seen our very own Fiscal Policy Panel talking about potential increases in inflation. These are worst-case scenarios. What we've got in place is the ability to support the most vulnerable islanders, so we'll be creating a hub for vulnerable islanders to be able to access, and we'll be talking more about that over the coming weeks.

Sen Ian Gorst, Jersey's External Relations Minister

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting this is the case whether a Brexit deal is struck or not.

In its worst-case scenario contingency planning, the UK government warned of 'delays and lack of supplies' to the Channel Islands if it leaves the EU with no deal.

However, Portsmouth City Council has insisted that Channel Islands-bound lorries will be given priority regardless of any possible disruption caused by no deal.

Shoppers have been told to prepare as they would for a Bank Holiday. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The States of Guernsey has relaunched the Brexit advice section of its website, which contains guidance for families and businesses across the island.

In a leaflet sent to all homes in Jersey, the government suggests stocking up on food as they would for a bank holiday to be on the safe side.

Islanders are being asked not to panic-buy, as retailers are confident there will still be plenty of produce on the shelves.

Channel Islands COO Mark Cox tells Clare Burton shoppers are already stocking up on the essentials. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Mark Cox, Chief Operating Officer of Channel Islands Cooperative Society, says he has already noticing islanders stocking up.

We're definitely seeing customers pick up some of these longer life products. Things like pasta where the date life allows them to store those in their cupboard at home. Or frozen food, where you can store that in your freezer.

Mark Cox, COO of Channel Islands Cooperative Society

Currently, around 6% of fresh produce on the shelves at Co-Op stores during the Autumn and Winter months comes from local suppliers.

The company is now speaking to those suppliers to see how they can possibly increase that and make sure that shelves are well stocked.

Elsewhere, islanders are also being advised against stockpiling fuels, which could be dangerous.

The Channel Islands' main fuel provider says supplies coming from the UK should not be disrupted.

Bertrand Dellenger is confident UK refineries can continue to supply the islands without any problems. Credit: ITV Channel TV

We have a contract with one UK refiner, but we have also a contingency plan with another one which we have tested recently. We have also plenty of storage here with plenty of capacity.We have about, at the moment, sixty percent fuel capacity which is worth around 30-32 days of product. By the end of October we project we will have about 40 days worth of stock. We're not stockpiling but we do get ready for winter and possibly adverse weather conditions, so Brexit issues are not an impact for us.

Bertrand Dellenger, Managing Director of Fuel Supply Channel Islands