Coronavirus: information and updates

Food and essentials during coronavirus

Supermarkets and community groups are working together to make sure everyone can get the supplies they need. We’ll try to keep this information up to date, but check with specific supermarkets and online stores for the most recent updates.

Contact your local authority for support

Contact your local authority if you are having problems getting food. 

Find coronavirus help in your local area (GOV.UK)

Contact your local authority (gov.wales)

Warning If you cannot get local authority support or supermarket deliveries

If you are disabled but not considered extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, there are other ways to get essentials like:

If you are having trouble getting supermarket delivery slots, contact our helpline.

Local groups and volunteers can help you get food and essentials

Some local groups have volunteers to get essentials for people who cannot go to shops or get deliveries.

If you’re struggling to get deliveries, contact your local support group. A volunteer should contact you to arrange:

  • what shopping or prescriptions you need picking up
  • how to pay for your shopping
  • when they can drop your shopping to your door (they will not come inside your home)

Find local volunteer groups to help you get essentials

Supermarkets

Many supermarkets have changed what they offer disabled customers. This includes things like:

  • opening hours with dedicated times and days for certain shoppers
  • priority delivery slots
  • making sure you can shop safely 

Check each supermarket to find out how they’re allocating deliveries. You will need to register for online shopping on their website.

If you’re struggling to get deliveries from your supermarket, you could try phoning your local corner shop to see if they will deliver.

Warning Face masks

Some shops may require customers to wear non-medical face masks to protect others. But there are exemptions if you cannot wear a mask. These include if:

  • you cannot put on, wear or remove a mask because you are disabled, have a medical condition or mental health condition

  • your condition means that putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress

  • you are travelling with or assisting someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate

If you need to eat, drink or take medication, you can remove your face mask to do this.

People who do not have to wear a face mask (GOV.UK)

You do not need to prove you cannot wear a mask. If you’re worried about what other people might say or do, you can use ‘exemption cards’ to explain that you or your child cannot wear a mask. You can have it on your phone or print it.

Exemption cards and badges (GOV.UK)

Sunflower lanyards

Many supermarkets are not asking for proof but you may need to explain that you have a health condition or are disabled. If you’re worried about getting access, you could try taking disability benefit or blue badge paperwork with you.

You could also try getting a sunflower lanyard. This tells others that you have an invisible condition or impairment. You can get them free at supermarkets, including Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Tesco and Morrisons.  

Sunflower lanyard (Hidden Disabilities)

Warning Check your local supermarket website

Check your local supermarket website for updated information on changes to the services and the support they can give you.

Read our supermarket campaign report

Asda

Asda offers home delivery, food boxes, and the Asda Volunteer Shopping Card. This provides a contactless and secure way for others to shop for you if you cannot get a delivery.

Volunteer Shopping Card (Asda) 

Check Asda for updates

Tesco

To ask about priority shopping slots, call free on 0800 917 7359.

Order your Volunteer e–Gift Card (Tesco)

Find Tesco Access Guides on AccessAble

Morrisons

Morrisons offer gift cards to make it easier for volunteers to buy shopping for you.

Morrisons gift cards for volunteers

Aldi

You can order essentials with Deliveroo.

Order Aldi essentials from Deliveroo

Check Aldi for updates

M&S and Ocado

You can arrange home deliveries through Ocado.

M&S and Ocado delivery information

Buy e-gift cards for volunteers (M&S)

Check M&S for updates 

Sainsbury's

Call the NHS Volunteer Responders programme 0808 196 3646 if you need help getting groceries.

Volunteer Shopping Card enables people to shop for you in store.

Get 20 items in 60 minutes using the Chop Chop app

Check Sainsbury's for updates

Co-op

You can call 0800 029 4592 to order a Community Shopping Card for shopping volunteers.

Order a quick shop delivery (Co-op) 

Get support from Co-op

Iceland

Iceland offers weekly delivery slots for priority customers. There is also a same day delivery service in some areas.

Check Iceland for updates

Online stores

Online stores like Amazon or eBay offer food and essentials if you cannot get them delivered from the supermarket. Check the quantities and delivery dates first as there may be delays.

eBay food and drink 

AmazonFresh is available for Prime members to order fresh food and essentials from local shops and supermarkets. You can also find other food items, such as tea or canned goods through the main website if you’re not a Prime member.

Milk & More offers a local delivery service where you can buy milk and other grocery items.

Register your interest as a new customer for Milk & More deliveries

Local veg box schemes or wholesale suppliers

Check if there is a food box delivery scheme in your area. Some food wholesale suppliers offer home deliveries to help people get essentials. Just make sure you check the quantities of products if you’re buying from a wholesale supplier.

Search for wholesale suppliers or food box schemes: 

Meal delivery services

If you are eligible, your council or other local organisations may provide meals delivered to your home.

Get meals at home (meals on wheels) (GOV.UK)

There are also some companies that offer meal deliveries:

Wiltshire Farm Foods

Wiltshire Farm Foods offers frozen ready meals for people on the 'extremely vulnerable' list. You can call them using their ‘priority number’ to place an order.

Deliveries to extremely clinically vulnerable customers

Cook

Cook delivers frozen ready meals.

Check Cook for updates

Parsley Box

Parsley Box delivers ready meals you can store in a cupboard.

Parsley Box

Vibrant Vegan Co.

Vegan ready meals delivered to your door.

Vibrant Vegan Co. ready meals

HelloFresh

HelloFresh deliver ingredients for you to cook set meals you’ve chosen from their menu.

Check HelloFresh for updates

Food banks

Food banks are community organisations that support people who cannot afford the essentials. Search online for your local food bank or find a food bank on the Trussell Trust website.

Find a food bank (Trussell Trust)

Warning Do not use food banks if you can afford food

If you can afford food but are unable to get it, do not go to a food bank. Contact your local authority for support instead.

Find your local authority (GOV.UK)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 22/07/2021

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