COUNCIL bosses have apologised after a dad of two children with Autism was forced to abandon his food shopping at the checkout because of an administrative glitch with a voucher scheme for families in poverty.

Parents and carers of children who are entitled to free school meals or clothing grants in Glasgow have been issued with pre-paid cards for use in supermarkets as a contingency plan during lockdown.

Around 32,000 cards have been posted out to families with a £20 credit that can be used to buy food in Farmfoods stores across the city.

The council said the same amount would then be uploaded every two weeks for every pupil in the family who is eligible.

READ MORE: Mum of autistic man 'deeply upset' after being quizzed by police about lockdown breach 

However, due to an administrative error some cards were not topped up - it is not clear yet how many - and in one case a dad was forced to abandon his grocery shopping at the check-out.

The council said replacement cards were being sent out on Monday after a “technical error”, but as of Thursday the dad had still not received his. 

He said: “I am a single parent of two autistic boys and I went to use my cards on Friday and it was supposedly topped up on the 13th.

“When I got to checkout the card was refused as there was nothing on it.

“Also, the £8 balance left from the previous week was gone and I had to wait until Monday to phone Glasgow City Council only to be told that they were aware of this problem.

“If they were aware of this for over a week why has it taken so long to inform people as it is quite embarrassing to get to the checkout and have your card refused and having to leave store without your shopping.”

READ MORE: Drumchapel foodbank in desperate plea for support 

A council spokeswoman said: “Farmfoods got in touch to say that a technical error meant that some cards had not been topped up.

“We issued replacement cards to these families and asked Farmfoods to advise their stores and display signs that asked card holders to check their balance first to avoid any embarrassment.

“There’s only been a few enquiries about this so hopefully we managed to sort this out but clearly this person was missed and we apologise for this.

“Our admin staff are aware of this gentleman’s circumstances  and have arranged a new card for him.

"As you can imagine the process was turned around in a matter of days – the team have done amazing, with more than 32k cards issued so not really surprising that we’ve had a couple of technical issues.

"But that's not an excuse and we don’t want anyone to be put in this position."

In February 2018, Glasgow became the first local authority to extend automatic entitlement to free meals to children up to P4.

An extra 6,000 children in Glasgow are thought to have benefitted.

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