The Government has confirmed that the first food boxes have been delivered to those at highest risk from coronavirus as part of the biggest effort to deliver supplies to those in need since World War Two.

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 announced today (Sunday 29 March).  More parcels are expected to go out next week from wholesalers across the country, bringing the first set of deliveries to more than 50,000. 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.

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 1.5m 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 around the clock to establish across the country, spearheaded by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. He said: “This weekend sees the start of extraordinary steps to support the most clinically vulnerable, while they shield from coronavirus. 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.”

The government 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 distributors, 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.

You can find a list of local businesses that are running home delivery services here.

For the latest Public Health England guidance, click here. 

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