Today, the government has confirmed that packages of food and essential supplies have started arriving at the houses of clinically vulnerable people.
This group consists of those in the high-risk category who have been advised to stay at home and do not have a local network of family and friends to drop off provisions.
The packages contain items such as coffee, tea, pasta, tinned goods, cereal, potatoes, two types of fruit and other basic supplies such as loo roll.
The government has partnered with national food distributors (Brakes and Bidfood) to get these supplies to people’s homes. Packages will be delivered to people’s doorsteps, with all drivers following the latest Public Health England guidance.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
“The food and drink industry has shown tremendous resilience in working together to keep food on our shelves and in people’s homes at this difficult time.
“I would like to thank our partners Brakes and Bidfood for everything they are doing to provide this weekly package to the most vulnerable in our society.
“This partnership will sit alongside the work of many retailers, local authorities and the food charity sector to provide a wider offer to those who may be struggling at this time.”
In a joint statement, representatives from Bidfood and Brakes said:
“At a time of national crisis the foodservice industry’s two largest distributors are coming together to work with Defra to create packages of food and essential supplies that will be delivered to vulnerable people as part of the Local Support System.
“In these difficult times, we’re proud to join forces and play such a vital role in supporting people in need during their period of isolation. Together we are experts in food service and our distribution networks reach into every corner of the country. Our highly professional drivers and warehouse teams will be keeping the wheels turning in this vital national endeavour.”
Getting support with food supplies as a clinically extremely vulnerable person
Up to 1.5 million people in England have been identified by the NHS as being the most clinically vulnerable and therefore at higher risk of severe illness if they contract coronavirus. The NHS has written to many of these individuals asking them to self-isolate and giving them instructions of how to register on a Government website if they need support getting essential food supplies.
If you have received this letter and registered on the Government website and have been assessed as having no other means of accessing food, you will be eligible for a Government food parcel to be delivered to your home. The Government has begun delivering parcels and is working to deliver as many as possible as soon as possible. Your information will be also be passed to food retailers to prioritise you for home delivery slots. If you think you should have received a letter but haven’t had one, then you should contact your GP.
You may not fall into this category of being clinically vulnerable but you are vulnerable in other ways and in need of support getting essential food supplies. The Government is working to identify these individuals as soon as possible, and is working with food retailers and volunteer groups to help prioritise those individuals for home deliveries or support with getting food supplies.
Wherever possible you should continue to rely on friends, family and wider support to help you meet your needs.