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First food parcels delivered to clinically vulnerable people

Coronavirus: Government backed packages contain essential food and household

Mark Moran
30 March 2020
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick

 

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 has announced.

The first 2,000 food parcels were delivered this weekend to those who cannot leave their homes because severe health conditions leave them most vulnerable to the virus.

More parcels are set to go out this week from wholesalers across the country, bringing the first set of deliveries to more than 50,000, says the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Depending on demand, hundreds of thousands of boxes could be delivered each week.

The packages contain essential food and household items such as pasta, fruit, tinned goods and biscuits, for those who need to self-isolate at home for 12 weeks but have no support network of family or friends to help them.

“This weekend saw the start of extraordinary steps to support the most clinically vulnerable, while they shield from coronavirus,” said Jenrick. “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 1.5 million people 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.

It is part of a support network the Government is working to establish across the country, led by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.
Bidvest and Brakes, the food service industry’s two largest distributors, are 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.

A joint statement by Andrew Selley, chief executive of?Bidfood, and Hugo Mahoney,?chief executive of Brakes, said:?”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.”

The Government said it 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.

The parcels, which will be left on the doorstep, will include pasta, cornflakes, tea bags, tinned fruit, apples, rolls of loo roll and biscuits.

 
 
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