Demand for online deliveries from supermarkets is very high, and many people who are self-isolating are finding it difficult to order food. This page has tips for getting essentials delivered by a supermarket, or finding other shops that will deliver food and other essentials.

Extra help from some supermarkets

Over the past few months, most of the major supermarkets have been prioritising home delivery slots for older and vulnerable customers, particularly those who were identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ by the NHS. If you’re an existing customer with a supermarket, cannot easily get out to the shops and are having difficulty getting online delivery slots, you should contact the supermarket directly to see what they can do to help you. If you were previously registered for food parcels with a supermarket before the 17 July deadline, you can still get priority access delivery slots with that supermarket.

Morrisons have launched a Doorstep delivery service for older and vulnerable people who are unable to shop in a store – you can choose from a set list of essential items for home delivery. Call Morrisons on 0345 611 6111 (select option 5) before 5pm for delivery the next day. To use this service, you must live within 10 miles of a Morrisons store.

Food boxes

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

Volunteer shopping cards

Many of the larger supermarket chains have launched volunteer shopping cards so that someone else can do your shopping on your behalf. You buy the card online, and it can be emailed directly to the person doing your shopping:

See more about help from volunteers below.

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 offer two food delivery services. Amazon Fresh delivers fresh, store cupboard goods and frozen foods in a number of cities. Amazon Pantry can be used to order dried food, tinned goods and snacks across the UK. 

You could also try online meal delivery services such as Wiltshire Farm Foods, Oakhouse Foods, COOK or Parsley Box to see if they are taking on new customers.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a document called Food for vulnerable people with more detailed information about available food options from commercial organisations.

Help from volunteers

You can call 0808 196 3646 to request 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 prescription collection, shopping, lifts to appointments, or even provide a friendly chat over the phone.

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.