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First food parcels delivered to clinically vulnerable people

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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.

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  1. Comment by Kat posted on

    Is it the same case for many people that the NHS numbers on the official high risk letters are not being recognised when you call the 0800 number for assistance?
    Supermarkets are sending communication emails out about helping their vulnerable customers, yet they are not registered on a 'central list' and cannot get any help from the number on their letters. How are you supposed to be able to shop online if you are shielding, have a letter but you can't get on any supermarket vulnerable person list? Where are they getting their information from?

  2. Comment by stephen snape posted on

    We were sent a letter to say were on the 1.5 m list. my wife has terminal cancer. iam her carer. try as we might we cant get a delivery of food from the supermarkets. just cut off the phone. says we are working with the goverment to identify you. this has been the same for 2 weeks!!!

    Cant even email the supermarkets!

  3. Comment by June Stevens posted on

    i am in the house on my own & cant get any shopping on line that i used to

    • Replies to June Stevens>

      Comment by Sandra wild posted on

      Hi I am unable to get out for 12 weeks and i haven't had a food parcel yet

  4. Comment by sue posted on

    I would just like to say thankyou for the food parcel delivered by brakes

    • Replies to sue>

      Comment by Linda posted on

      How long from when you registered to when you received a parcel pls? I registered a week ago and haven’t had an email or text or parcel. I used the details on my letter so not sure why.

  5. Comment by Wendy Bliss posted on

    I am registered disabled & use a wheelchair.My husband is my carer & has heart disease ,had a heart attack & stents & cannot drive .We have no family or friends or in the area & relie on food deliveries.Tried to register on the gov list as we ARE vulnerable but the on-line form tells us we are not eligible as our needs are not on THEIR, list . Constant worry & stress trying to get delivery slots as usual & as my husband is not computer literate ,it is also my details which are used to do anything on-line ,so even if my husband could get on the LIST,he does not do the shopping order.Prehaps, the gov should consult the DWP to also see who receives PIP/DLA & other sources so that more vulnerable people can get assistance,even if only to get the peace of mind to be able to get a recurring delivery slot for food deliveries.

  6. Comment by Peter Howells posted on

    I'm ok at present and I can pay for my own food. I do, however, need to arrange online shopping and delivery from a supermarket.

    But there seems to be no way to contact a supermarket (either directly to them or through the Government service) to arrange this or to confirm I'm "officially" vulnerable.

    Most supermarkets are busy and not taking new online orders - apart from those for vulnerable people. They are not answering their customer support phones, simply giving recorded messages. Deeply frustrating - and in time potentially a more serious problem.

    • Replies to Peter Howells>

      Comment by A Edwards posted on

      I’m in the same position, I have registered on the website. I have family living in the house but don’t want them to keep shopping and risk bringing the virus back home. I don’t need free food parcel just access to online shopping, it is so frustrating not to be given a chance to log in also the gov registration doesn’t really give you the chance to say that’s what you would like to do,

  7. Comment by Mike posted on

    I have lymphoma and have to stay home. I was really pleased and grateful for the food delivery. Heartfelt thanks to all those involved in making it happen.

    • Replies to Mike>

      Comment by Linda posted on

      How long did it take from registering to receive it pls? Registered a week ago and have not received anything.

  8. Comment by Angela posted on

    My husband is on thevery high risk register and i can't go out to shop in case i bring covid home. We have registeed on the site BUT I dont want a free food parcel i just need to get a delivery slot. If i say i have friends who can get bread and milk then i dont get the parcel, but then i also wont be listed for the supermarkets as needing a delivery slot.
    Please update the register with an option to not have a parcel but to be able to arrange home delivery slots.

  9. Comment by Graeme posted on

    Guys please do not post ANY personal info on this site - it is a fake website and is not an official UK Govt website.

  10. Comment by Margaret Mason posted on

    As a highly vulnerable person with copd and in February very unwell with pneumonia so I have not been out since mid February hence am unable to purchase antibacterial soaps My daughter who works full time as a midwife does shopping for me but has been unable to get the soaps and alsoparacetamol
    I am unable to get a slot for Tesco am I not classed as priority?
    I Would appreciate your feedback

    • Replies to Margaret Mason>

      Comment by Graeme posted on

      Hi Margaret, I'm sorry to hear of your difficulties in these tough times. Unfortunately i am unable to offer you any practical help - i wish that i could) because i too am not in a good place so all i can really offer is my kindest regards and my hope that things improve for you soon. Graeme

  11. Comment by Susan Palmer posted on

    I would like to add my sincere thanks to every one involved in arranging my food delivery,

  12. Comment by Malcolm Brown posted on

    Having received the letter from the NHS and registered. After a phone chat with my Oncologist. I rang the 0800 number on the letter to make some enquiries. But my NHS number is not recognised and the call is terminated without the option of speaking to a real person rather than the pre-recorded message. Equally apart from registering online there isn't the option of "mailing" any queries or questions.

    • Replies to Malcolm Brown>

      Comment by Andrew posted on

      Hi I to have my nhs letter and registered with rang the number for help with Sainsburys home deliveries it did not recognise my nhs number where do we go to speak to someone who can help.

  13. Comment by Gitta posted on

    Where do you live Graeme?

    • Replies to Gitta>

      Comment by Gitta posted on

      Can I post your comments on Facebook as I have friends all over U.K. who can help. I would need a contact number to pass on.

  14. Comment by caroline hughes posted on

    I'm in isolation got a letter got asthma and copd when will I get my food parcel I cannot shop online

  15. Comment by Michelle wood posted on

    How do I apply for food parcel, I've had pneumonia 4 times plus I've copd

  16. Comment by H posted on

    Feeling unsure if we should apply for this. My partner is in the very high risk category to totally iscolate 12 wks, We have 2 children. I have been told I can not work now as COVID19 is in the care home I work in (us having been isolating for over a week and Ive not been there while it was there). So basically we will only be paid SSP now and income is v unsure. Cant pay rent. I am fit and healthy and could go to the shops with what little money left, but am to shield him and athsmatic daughter. Feels wrong to apply when I am fit and strong. Feels wrong to ask others...

  17. Comment by Tammy posted on

    Jey...i have recieved my letter a text and registered online and aint jeard nothing or reieved any help so phoned the number and got to nhs number where there said its not reconised and hung up...has any one had this and if so how i can sort it oit please

    • Replies to Tammy>

      Comment by Malcolm Brown posted on

      Me too Tammy. Got the letter and not recognised phone message............

  18. Comment by Deb Atkinson posted on

    It’s difficult with supermarkets. I am the one registered as a Sainsbury’s customer but it’s my husband who is very vulnerable. However that means we’re both in lockdown and cannot get to the shops. Is there any way they can take note of the address rather than just the name of the affected person?

  19. Comment by John Fay posted on

    Sainsburys already offer me a weekly delivery so I do not need these food parcels and would much rather they went to someone more in need.

  20. Comment by barbara wells posted on

    I am asthmatic, have been since a child but haven't received a letter, does that mean I am not a vulneral person. My husband is type 2 dieabetic and high blood pressure. We have been self isolating now for 3 weeks. Try to ring our Dr but they are now closed also the number that our daughter gave us for the gov as usual automated so couldn't speak to any one. does anyone know how to apply for a food parcel. thankyou

    • Replies to barbara wells>

      Comment by Jenny posted on

      Blood pressure and diabetes are not on the list of high risk illnesses, it does say chronic Samatha do you come in this category,if so you should have received a letter telling you this and what you have to do to get help

    • Replies to barbara wells>

      Comment by Mrs S Leggett posted on

      I know how you feel, my husband is on oxygen 24/7 and we haven’t received a letter, you ring up and seem to go round in circles! As far as I can make out it seems to depend which surgery you are under, all 3 friends of ours that have received a letter all go to same surgery. The surgery we go to said they will be sending letters out soon. Best to speak to your local GP.

  21. Comment by Sheila Chadha posted on

    I received a letter to stay at home for 12 weeks and so has my mother in law. There are 5 people in my household and we will run out of food by the end of this week. I can't get a delivery slot for 2 weeks. What are we supposed to do??

    • Replies to Sheila Chadha>

      Comment by Ray posted on

      Shop at Iceland - they have slots!

  22. Comment by T Douthwaite posted on

    I’m not sure supermarkets are doing enough to prevent those who are able bodied from taking all the online grocery slots. We cannot access Waitrose or Sainsbury’s because we still not on their radar and Tesco slots are gone by 5 mins past midnight. Our food parcel is scheduled for Thursday so hopefully when we get some food life will be less stressful.

  23. Comment by Anita posted on

    I have registered for the food parcel do u know when I get my first one

  24. Comment by Caz posted on

    How do you go about setting up a delivery my parents in law are over 80 and have health problems if you can post a link so I can set it up for them thanks in adavance

    • Replies to Caz>

      Comment by timswabey1 posted on

      This page has been updated with additional information about how the clinically vulnerable are able to become eligible for deliveries.

  25. Comment by Rob Goldswain posted on

    My food parcel arrived this morning and I want to say thank you to all those involved in getting it to me. I am in the 1.5 million asked to stay home for 12 weeks and my wife was already housebound due to a long term illness. We worried about how would get just the basics and this has taken a huge weight off of our minds. Thank you again xx

  26. Comment by Dorothy posted on

    So very grateful for the food parcel received today. Such a relief as cannot get supermarket delivery slot. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who made this possible. ?

  27. Comment by halima begum posted on

    Hi There

    I have also registered my son who was told his high risk and to self isolate. This has been done 2weeks ago, would yuo be able to tell me how long it takes and how I will be contacted.

  28. Comment by mr stanley richardson posted on

    i applied for food parcel a week ago and still havnt received it ,it came to light tonight that a neighbour in the same complex has had 2 food parcels within 4 day ,he told a friend in same complex that they asked for stanley which is me and i think he has received mine.

  29. Comment by JIM HORNER posted on

    I have filled in the form 3 times and rang the 0800 num .as yet no parcel has arrived. What can we do

    • Replies to JIM HORNER>

      Comment by Robin M. Wilton posted on

      I have received 3 food parcels in 2 days . Far more than I can use. What can I do with excess? I don’t want to waste or throw away good food. There parcels are life savers. Many thanks R M Wilton.

  30. Comment by Stephen posted on

    I have completed the online questionnaire and I have had a letter sent to me identifying me as a clinically vulnerable person. Unfortunately, I have not heard anymore? My question is about whether the government is working with the supermarkets to prioritise the home deliveries to vulnerable people and if so when will I be able to get a slot and have a delivery?

    • Replies to Stephen>

      Comment by Sue posted on

      I am in the same position. I completed a form several days ago and still not able to get a delivery slot from any of the supermarkets.
      I've just completed chemotherapy, so received the letter telling me I needed to be shielded to stay in for 12 weeks, but cannot get a delivery from anywhere.

  31. Comment by Karen posted on

    I am not sure if there is a comparable ststem in northern ireland
    I have an underlining condition and am "shielding" have ordered online from local supplier a week later no delivery. Its very worrying

  32. Comment by Jude Audley-Reynolds posted on

    I am a at risk person and can't get to shops. How do I sign up for food parcels?

  33. Comment by Mrs Ellen Williamson posted on

    My husband and I who are in our eighties and self isolating cannot get a slot for our online shopping. Any advice please.

  34. Comment by Alan biles posted on

    Wee ave no food to eat and no money to buy food and wee struggling get out as my partner very bad copd and I ave to care for her and I ave to the shopping and cooking meals for her and I ave job carrying the shopping for us . Wee a need food parcels to keeps going and wee need ur help as wee are on a low income of £57 a week.

  35. Comment by Bill Taylor posted on

    Thank you,thank you so much for my food parcel we received this morning,
    This will truly help us and cannot thank everybody involved enough,