A PENSIONER struggling to get food for his housebound wife and frail elderly neighbours today pleaded with 'selfish' shoppers to stop emptying shelves.

Seriously ill Henry Small, who doesn't drive, has been forced to desperately trudge round shops looking for basics like bread, milk and toilet roll with no success.

The 74-year-old and his wife turned to the Tele for help and we immediately stepped in.

We teamed with Belville Community Garden - currently leading a volunteer effort to get self-isolation boxes to those who need them most - to secure a container with essentials and then delivered it to their door in Kilmacolm, as well as buying loo roll for them after a hunt around several local stores.

Henry, of Hillside Avenue, said: "It hasn't been easy for us.

"I was going round the shops and everything was empty, shop after shop.

"I have had two heart attacks as well and my wife can't get out.

"It is a real struggle to find things.

"I don't drive so I have to walk and get the bus."

Supplies in local stores have been running low as people ignore repeated warnings and selfishly and needlessly stockpile.

The Tele took to the streets yesterday to help search for basics to add to the box for Henry and his wife, like milk and toilet rolls.

But Tesco, Aldi, Food Warehouse, Farmfoods and B&M were all wiped out of in-demand supplies like loo roll, chicken and pasta by 11am yesterday.

Henry's wife Anne, 73, who has osteoarthritis and COPD, said: "I am so angry with people for filling their trolleys and leaving other people without anything.

"My husband was trying to find food for us and my elderly neighbour who is 88-years-old.

"People need to stop and think.

"I get so mad about it."

Belville Community Garden provided two boxes for the Tele to deliver - one for the Kilmacolm couple and another for their elderly neighbour Mary Ludwig.

They were full of essential foods to get them through the next few days as they follow advice to stay at home.

The boxes include soup, bread and fresh fruit, along with an energy drink.

Despite donations pouring in the team at Belville are up against it as demand increases in the face of depleting supplies.

They are working with Compassionate Inverclyde and CVS Inverclyde as part of an organised Covid-19 Inverclyde relief effort.

Manager Laura Reilly said: "We are doing what we can to coordinate efforts.

"The number of boxes we are asked for is continuing to increase.

"We are really all pulling together, which is good.

"We are getting a lot of requests from young carers who are self-isolating with parents and can't get out."

But Laura admits supplies of food are running low.

She added: "We normally rely on the donations the shops don't need, but obviously they have nothing left over just now."

Food and hygiene student Kiera Purdie has been busy making soup to put in to the boxes.

She said: "I am on a placement but I am going to continue to come in and volunteer even though the college is closed."

Mr and Mrs Small's neighbour Mary, 88, was delighted with the delivery from Belville and the Tele.

Mrs Ludwig had previously suffered a nasty fall in Port Glasgow town centre and sustained a nasty head injury.

She said: "I can't thank people enough for their kindness.

"Henry usually picks things up at the shop for me.

"I rely on the help of my neighbours, they are so good to me."

*You can donate now to the Belville Community Garden coronavirus relief effort by logging on to www.paypal.com/paypalme2/BelvilleCommunity