Biggest effort to deliver supplies to those in need “since World War Two”
The first food boxes have been delivered to those vulnerable people being shielded from coronavirus as the Government moved to support those most in need, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced today (29 March 2020).
Two thousand food parcels have already been delivered this weekend to those who cannot leave their homes because severe health conditions leave them most vulnerable to the virus.
More parcels are expected to go out next week from wholesalers across the country. Bringing the first set of deliveries to more than 50,000. Depending on demand, hundreds of thousands of boxes could be delivered each week.
The parcels, which will be left on the doorstep, will include pasta, cornflakes, tea bags, tinned fruit, apples, rolls of loo roll and biscuits.
They are for those who need to self-isolate at home for 12 weeks, but have no support network of family or friends to help them.
Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
“This weekend sees the start of extraordinary steps to support the most clinically vulnerable, while they shield from coronavirus.
“We will support these people at this difficult time, and the scale of an operation like that has not been seen since the Second World War.
“This is an unprecedented package of support and I want to thank the food suppliers, local councils and everyone who has come together to create this essential service in just a matter of days.”
Since Monday, 900,000 extremely vulnerable people received letters from the NHS giving them guidance on how to shield from coronavirus. In total up to 1.5m will be asked to be shielded in this way.
Others who did not receive letters but think they are part of this clinically vulnerable group should contact their GP.
Andrew Selley, ceo of Bidfood, and Hugo Mahoney, ceo of Brakes, said:
“At a time of national crisis the foodservice industry’s two largest distributors are coming together to work with the Government to create packages of food and essential supplies that will be delivered to vulnerable people as part of the Local Support System.”
The government is working with a partnership of the food industry, local government, local resilience and emergency partners, and voluntary groups, to ensure that essential items can be delivered to those who need it.
Medicines will be delivered by community pharmacies and groceries and essential household items by food distributers, working with supermarkets, to ensure they do not worry about getting the food that they need.