Where to find food if you’re shielding?
If you are unable to leave your home during this crisis you may be very concerned about how you can access essential food supplies. It is a very scary time. The last thing you want to be worrying about is where your next meal is coming from. If you have family or friends able to help pick up supplies you can direct them to my directory of special opening hours for vulnerable customers but if you are alone and shielded by the government’s 12-week isolation plan it can be very difficult. I am putting together here a list of places you can access food from safely.
Morrisons have come up with quite a clever idea that avoids the need to book delivery slots. They are putting together food boxes with a selection of products that should feed 2 adults for a week plus some essential household products. You can choose between vegetarian and meat. They cost £35 which includes £30 worth of products and £5 for delivery. If you order before 3 pm it will arrive the next day. They will be left on your doorstep so no need for any social interaction.
Government food & supply boxes
If you are one of the 1.5 million people who have health conditions, that makes you more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19. You should have received a text or letter with details on how to access the extra support the government is offering you.
One of these things is a free box of food and supplies. So you do not need to risk your health by leaving the house and going to the shops. The process at the moment is still very new. I will update when I have more information about these boxes. The first boxes have now been delivered. The government has stated the boxes can be delivered weekly if required.
These free food parcels can be a real lifesaver, especially if because of the lockdown you are now not earning. As you can see from the photo its not war style rationing. The box will contain a treat or two also.
Getting online delivery slots at the moment is incredibly difficult. Most stores are politely asking customers to leave online delivery slots for those who truly need them which means there are none available of course. Sainsbury’s has gone one step further and made their entire online system only accessible to those customers who are elderly, vulnerable or are carers. The only downside is you have to have had an account before stockpiling and lockdown started. If you are a customer though this is a massive bonus. The phone lines are much calmer now if you need to register. The telephone number to call is 0800 328 1700. Registration over the phone is super simple I was only asked a couple of questions. Within 24 hours after this, your Sainsbury’s account will allow you to see available slots and book one.
Sainsbury’s do doorstep delivery at the moment and I must say I was extremely impressed with the service. The driver stayed a very good distance away whilst he was explaining the delivery process. The delivery person puts a box of your groceries on your doorstep fully bagged and ready to grab quickly. He or she then returns to the van whilst you collect the groceries out. You then back away from your door allowing the driver to put down another box of groceries. My delivery driver never came within 12 feet of me personally and I was very happy with how it went. It is, of course, more of a risk than simple drop and go like the Morrison’s boxes so its something you would need to consider personally. I will contact the store tomorrow and ask if they do a completely hands-free delivery.
Tesco – coming soon
Tesco announced today via email that they have expanded their online delivery capacity and will be prioritizing people who are shielding. They will receive your details from the government list and be in contact via email as soon as possible. If you need to access online delivery and think you belong in the high-risk shielding group but haven’t received notification you can register for the NHS to assess your case.
Whether or not you are accepted to the list your details will be passed onto the supermarket companies if you have ticked the box saying you need help with accessing food supplies.
Do not be afraid to reach out to the community around you for support. The power of social media has really shone this last few weeks. Most areas have their own Facebook group presence and people are using these groups to come together and support the elderly and vulnerable. My local Facebook group has arranged all sorts of services to help like posting mail and picking up prescriptions. They have also been extremely useful for sourcing food locally when all the store shelves were empty. People have arranged doorstop drops of potatoes, eggs, and even specialist sausages. They have put their contact details online to help, don’t feel guilty for asking. People genuinely want to help.