Travellers accuse Sainsbury’s of discrimination over food bank row

‘I’ll get you sacked’: Angry travellers accuse Sainsbury’s staff of discrimination after they refuse to appear in a video of the men donating shopping in the Food Bank Challenge

  • Patrick Fitzharris and uncle Jimmy went to Sainsbury’s to donate £181 of food
  • But staff at the shop in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, refused to be in video
  • The travellers were taking part in the Food Bank Challenge sweeping the internet
  • Staff said: ‘It shouldn’t be about publicity, it should be about the good gesture’

A family of travellers have accused Sainsbury’s of discriminating against them after staff refused to appear in a video of them donating to a food bank. 

Patrick Fitzharris and his uncle Jimmy went to the supermarket in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on Saturday and tried to donate £181 worth of goods.

After paying for the shopping, the two men wanted to film the moment they handed over the food as part of the Food Bank Challenge sweeping the internet.

A Sainsbury’s staff member is filmed after she refused to appear in the travellers’ video 

The men had just spent £181 on food and wanted to capture the moment they donated it – but the woman didn’t want to be involved in the filming

But the men claim Sainsbury’s workers refused to be part of the video which sparked a confrontation caught on film.

In the end, Sainsbury’s refunded the men and the donation wasn’t made. 

The men say workers refused to be in the video because the Food Bank Challenge was started by the travelling community.

Jimmy said: ‘Why are they being so spiteful? When it was the travellers that started this nomination off?’ 

Patrick uploaded the clip to Facebook, where it’s been watched more than 170,000 times. 

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In the footage, he can be heard saying: ‘It was a good gesture, I don’t understand why you couldn’t have done it.’ 

A female staff member then responds: ‘It shouldn’t be about the publicity though should it, it should be about making the good gesture.’ 

Jimmy Fitzharris (pictured) tells staff he’s going to ‘get them sacked’ after they refused to appear in his Food Bank Challenge video

Patrick replies: ‘But that’s the whole point of it it’s the nomination when you’re getting nominated for the homeless you be a big man.

Jimmy can then be heard calling another employee a ‘t***’. before Patrick says: ‘Silly, honestly, just very very stupid.’

Additional footage showed Jimmy trying to follow one of the employees saying: ‘I’m going to make a complaint against you and get you sacked. You won’t be the manager of this store for much longer.’

Staff (one is pictured in a Christmas jumper) said they didn’t want to be in the video because ‘it shouldn’t be about publicity, it should be about making a good gesture’

Then Patrick says: ‘We’ve got you on video as well saying that he feels like he’s getting mocked.’

A staff member responds: ‘We haven’t refused it.’ 

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: ‘We are an inclusive retailer. Our colleagues explained they were not comfortable being filmed but would be happy to video the customers with their donation.

‘Sadly this was refused and our colleagues were asked to provide a refund, which they arranged.’  

The Food Bank Challenge, which was started just days ago, sees people donating a trolley of food at a supermarket, posting a video of the moment they hand over the goods and nominating friends to do the same with the hashtag #Foodbanknomination. 

The nominees then need to complete the challenge within 48 hours.  

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