Over 500,000 boxes of essential food have now been delivered by wholesalers to those at highest risk across the country with hundreds of thousands more packages to follow in the coming weeks, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed.
The milestone was surpassed a month after the government launched its shielding programme – an unprecedented package of support for those most at risk of catching coronavirus.
As part of this the government partnered with national food distributors – Brakes and Bidfood – to get these supplies delivered to people’s doorsteps.
The effort has also seen a partnership forged between central government and local agencies that is helping to support clinically extremely vulnerable residents through the coronavirus outbreak, delivering a programme on a scale not seen since the Second World War.
These partnerships – known as Local Resilience Forums – were put in place across the whole country by the Communities Secretary to manage the local response to this national emergency.
There are around 1.85 million people with underlying severe health conditions that 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.
Jenrick said: “This is very challenging time for those having to be shielded from the coronavirus. I said at the start of this national emergency that whilst people need to spend more time at home, we would make sure that they never felt alone and I’ve been pleased to hear that our food packages are helping make life that bit easier.
“We have already delivered over half a million food packages to the most vulnerable and we will be delivering hundreds of thousands more food packages in the coming weeks.
“I want to relay my own personal thanks to all those delivering these packages to communities around the country led by the local alliance we have put in place. They are among the many unsung heroes are working alongside councils and volunteers to support those who need it most.”