Priority delivery slots

Priority delivery puts your order earlier in the supermarket’s queue, so it should arrive at your home sooner. Getting a slot depends on your circumstances and the current restrictions.

Who can get a priority slot

Priority slots are kept for older and vulnerable customers, including those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable by the NHS. You may be able to get one if you:

  • are a registered customer with a supermarket
  • cannot easily get out to the shops
  • are having difficulty getting online delivery slots.

You can register for priority delivery during the national lockdown if you don't already have a slot. If you signed up for priority delivery before, you’ll keep getting priority slots with that supermarket during the lockdown.

Even if you can’t get priority delivery, you can still place online orders with a supermarket and get shopping delivered to your home.

How to get priority delivery

You should contact the supermarket directly to see what they can do to help you. Your local council may also be able to help you request priority delivery. Once you have priority delivery, you’ll need to book slots when you place your order with the supermarket.

Other help from supermarkets

Food boxes

Some supermarkets are offering food boxes, full of ‘essential’ products which can be delivered to you at home:

Some local shops may offer food boxes too, so it's worth contacting them to ask.

Volunteer shopping cards

If someone else is shopping for you, you could consider using a volunteer shopping card. These work like gift cards - you put money onto them and the person helping you can spend it in a store on your shopping.

You can buy cards online and get them emailed or texted to you and the person doing your shopping. Visit:

You can find out more about help from volunteers later on this page.

Support from your council

You can get support from your local council if you need extra help getting food or other essentials. They can:

  • help you request a priority delivery slot from a supermarket if you don’t already have one
  • tell you about other support in your local area. For example, help getting medicines delivered or accessing health or care services.

You can ask for this support if you’re struggling to get food or essentials because of the pandemic. For example, you’re self-isolating, caring for someone, have a disability or long-term health condition or have nobody able to help you.

How to apply

It’s best to call your local council to find out what support is available. You can also contact Age UK, RNIB, Mind or Scope who can refer you for support.

If you’re considered clinically extremely vulnerable, you can use the online service to register for support. You can also register on behalf of someone else.

Other ways to get food delivered

You could try calling any smaller grocery shops in your area and see if they’ll do deliveries.

Some local grocery shops are now delivering a selection of their products via food delivery services such as Deliveroo (M&S also have a partnership with them), Uber Eats and Just Eat. You may need to download an app to see what is available in your local area.

Amazon offers the Amazon Fresh service which delivers fresh, store cupboard goods and frozen foods in a number of cities. From the main website, you can also buy pantry items, such as dried food, tinned goods and snacks.

You could also try online meal delivery services such as Wiltshire Farm Foods, Oakhouse Foods, COOK or Parsley Box. They’re all open to new customers and offer a wide range of meals and ingredients to suit different diet or lifestyle needs, for example, vegetarian, low-sugar or meals for one.

Read the document from The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for more information on food options from UK businesses.

Help from volunteers

NHS volunteer responders

You can call 0808 196 3646 to ask for support from an NHS Volunteer Responder. A friend or family member, your GP, community pharmacist or any other health or local government professional can also refer you. An NHS volunteer responder can help with things like:

  • collecting prescriptions
  • shopping
  • lifts to appointments
  • providing a friendly chat over the phone.

Support from other places

Many charities and local community groups are also working hard to try and support people who are having to self-isolate. Contact your local council to find out about support in your area, or your local Age UK.

Before asking a volunteer to get food or other essentials for you, visit our FAQs page for information about staying safe when arranging help and paying someone back. You might want to also take a look at our information about avoiding scams.

Next steps

Check the restrictions for your local area on gov.uk.

Register for support with your local council.

Request help from an NHS Volunteer Responder.