Over 1 million boxes of essential food have now been delivered to those at highest risk across England.
- Nationwide milestone reached as part of unprecedented government effort to protect the most clinically vulnerable from coronavirus
- In the last week, the government-led programme has delivered 330,000 food boxes to those most at risk across England
- Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick hails the ‘astonishing’ achievement, thanking everyone involved in the national effort
Over 1 million boxes of essential food have now been delivered to those at highest risk across England, with more than 290,000 boxes being distributed every week and 330,000 delivered in the last week, Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP announced today (6 May 2020).
Speaking this afternoon, the Communities Secretary hailed the efforts of everyone involved in surpassing this milestone for the government-led programme, including national food distributors, Brakes and Bidfood, who have been delivering packages directly to clinically vulnerable people’s doorsteps.
The shielding programme, an unprecedented package of support for those most at risk from coronavirus, has seen government partner with the food industry and local councils to deliver a programme on a scale not seen since the Second World War.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
The coronavirus emergency has brought uncertain and difficult times but the willingness of people to pull together and support those most in need is an inspiration to us all.
This week, another significant milestone has been achieved with one million food packages delivered to those most at risk from the virus. This is an incredible achievement from this government programme’s standing start of at the end of March.
I could not be prouder and I want to thank everyone involved, from the food box delivery drivers, to volunteers and council officials ensuring local support networks meet the needs of their communities – together, our continued and astonishing effort will provide the support that those most at risk need, for as long as they need it.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
I would like to say a big thank you to Brakes and Bidfood for getting more than one million food parcels onto the doorsteps of those in need. It is an excellent achievement in such a short space of time.
The food and drink industry is working incredibly hard to support the most vulnerable at this time, but we know there is more to do. We are continuing to work closely with local authorities, charities and industry partners to support those who still need help getting essential food supplies.
There are around 2.1 million people with underlying severe health conditions which make them most at risk from coronavirus who must be protected and have been asked to stay at home and shield.
Many have local family and friends who can get the vital provisions needed. For those without, the government has committed to providing the support they need, for as long as they need it.
There is further guidance available on how people can access food and other supplies, including those who are not clinically extremely vulnerable.
Who is eligible for a box?
There are around 2.1 million people in England with underlying severe health conditions who must be protected and have been asked to stay at home.
These are people of all ages – with extreme respiratory conditions or certain types of cancers, those who have had organ transplants – who are less able to fight off the virus. See the full list.
People in this group are able to register for a regular food box delivery online or via the dedicated hotline. Instructions on how to do this have been sent to the individual in a letter from the NHS.
Your information will be also be passed to food retailers to prioritise you for home delivery slots.
How often will you get a food box delivery?
People who register will receive the delivery on a weekly basis, free of charge, for as long as we are advising the individual to stay at home.
If a person’s circumstances change and they don’t need the pack anymore, for example because someone can help them with shopping for basic essentials, they should re-register through the gov.uk website as no longer needing a food delivery.
Government has partnered with national food distributors – Brakes and Bidfood – to get these supplies delivered to people’s doorsteps.
What’s in the box?
The box contains a week’s worth of essentials for one person. While the contents of the parcels may have slight variation (depending on stock), they contain items such as:
Tinned vegetables – as well as tinned tomatoes – tinned fruit, multipacks of soup and baked beans, and a jar of cooking sauce. Other tins will contain meat and tuna.
Store cupboard staples such as pasta, rice or noodles or cous cous, potatoes and cereal.
Bread and fresh fruit.
Coffee, tea and biscuits.
Toilet paper and shower gel.
What other support is being provided?
- Up to 200,000 calls a day have been made to the shielded, and councils are helping to support them in other ways – including organising regular calls from volunteers to those isolated.