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 yesterday (6 May 2020).
The Communities Secretary hailed the efforts of everyone involved in surpassing this milestone, including national food distributors, Brakes and Bidfood, who have been delivering packages directly to clinically vulnerable people’s doorsteps.
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 more proud 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.”
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.
What’s in the box?
It 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.
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.
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.