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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Accessing food if you are unable to leave your home

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An image of vegetables on a table.

We know that many people are still finding it difficult to access the food they need.

If you are unable to leave your home to go shopping, whether you are shielding or self-isolating, or because social distancing measures make it more difficult for you to go to the shops in person, there are other options available. If you are not able to get a supermarket delivery slot, these options should help.

  • If you meet the criteria to get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, you can call 0808 196 3646 to be linked with a local volunteer who can collect and deliver your food for you. A carer or family member can also do this on your behalf.
  • Many food retailers are offering commercial food delivery options, which include their own set food boxes (e.g. Morrisons, Aldi, Asda and M&S), telephone ordering or prepared meals.
  • If you are in urgent need of support, you should contact your local authority. Most of them have dedicated Covid-19 helplines. They will also be able to advise on any additional options available locally for accessing food.

Where possible, you should also continue to ask friends, family or neighbours to do your shopping for you. Most of the major supermarkets have ways that others can pay on your behalf, such as e-vouchers and gift cards.

Food Minister Victoria Prentis said:

“We know this is a really challenging time for a lot of people. Supermarkets have done a brilliant job increasing their capacity, but there will only ever be a limited number of delivery slots available.

"If you don’t have friends or family to shop for you, you can ask for help from the fantastic NHS Volunteer Responders. Meanwhile many supermarkets and other retailers have developed food boxes, telephone ordering and other ways to shop.

“We are continuing to work closely with local authorities, charities and food industry partners to make sure the support is there for those who need it.”

If you would like to learn more about accessing food and essential supplies during the pandemic, further guidance is available on the website. Information on all government support, including for those who are unemployed or are having trouble paying their bills, is also available.

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