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.

If you've signed up for priority slots, you’ll keep getting priority delivery with that supermarket until 21 June 2021, unless the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown changes.

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 – see the Support from your council section later on this page.

Once you have priority delivery, you’ll need to book a delivery slot when you place your order with the supermarket.

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:

Find out more about help from volunteers later on this page.

Support from your council

Contact 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, if 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.

Other ways to get food delivered

You could try calling any smaller grocery shops in your area and see if they’ll do deliveries. Local shops may also deliver food boxes with essential products, so it’s worth contacting them to find out. Morrisons still offer food box deliveries.

Some local grocery shops and supermarkets – such as M&S, Co-op and Morrisons – deliver a selection of their products via food delivery services like Deliveroo, 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 and frozen foods, and store cupboard goods in some cities. From the main website, you can also buy pantry items, such as dried food, tinned goods and snacks.

You could also try 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.

Help from volunteers

You can get help from volunteers in your area.

NHS volunteer responders

An NHS volunteer responder can help with things like:

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

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.

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

If you need some help, contact your local council.

Request support from an NHS Volunteer Responder.

Check for the latest guidance on getting food and essentials.