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 a supermarket delivery slot, or finding other shops that will deliver food and other essentials.

Priority food deliveries

Supermarkets are working with the government to prioritise food deliveries for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. This means people who have a medical condition that puts them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

In England, clinically extremely vulnerable people will have received an NHS letter and/or SMS message, and they can register for extra support. This could include help with getting food, other essential deliveries and care. You can register online or call 0800 028 8327. If you’re not sure if you or a person you support are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, you can still call, try the online registration form or speak to your GP. It’s worth registering if you need extra help getting shopping delivered.

In Scotland, if you’re in the shielding group, you can order free weekly deliveries of basic food and essential supplies, either through the SMS shielding service or your local authority helpline. If you’re vulnerable but not in the shielding group, you can access support from a separate helpline0800 111 4000.

In Wales, you should have received a letter from the Welsh government with details of how you can get support if you're in the shielding group. Call the number provided on the letter.

In Northern Ireland, if you’re extremely vulnerable or you’re vulnerable and don’t have a support network, contact the COVID 19 Community helpline - 0808 802 0020.

Extra help from some supermarkets

Sainsbury’s are prioritising their delivery slots in England for people who the government class as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ due to a health condition and people over 70. However, they are focusing on people who have shopped with them before. You can call Sainsbury’s on 0800 953 4988 to ask for access to priority home delivery slots. If you are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, and are older or vulnerable you can call the same telephone number and ask for more information.

Tesco are also contacting people who the government class as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' and prioritising home delivery slots for them. If you're an existing Tesco online customer and cannot shop safely in a store, you can call 0800 917 7359 and ask if they can give you priority for online deliveries. 

Asda are getting in touch with people on the government’s ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ list to offer them deliveries. They can only contact existing Asda customers. If you’re on the list and a member of your household has an Asda account, you can change the contact information to your own.

Waitrose are contacting customers who they know are aged over 70 or vulnerable. They are reserving a quarter of these delivery slots for these customers. They do not have a telephone number you can call to let them know you are older or vulnerable.

Older and vulnerable people who are unable to shop in a store can call Morrisons on 0345 611 6111 (select option 5) to place an order for home delivery. To use this service, you need to choose from a set list of essential items, and you must live within 10 miles of a Morrisons store. Morrisons are also offering boxes of essentials. Each box has 20 items and is meant to last 2 adults for a week.

Aldi have also launched a food parcel scheme. Each box contains 22 'cupboard essentials' like long-life milk and tinned soup, plus tea, coffee, snacks and handwash.

Marks and Spencers are offering food boxes of tinned food, dried goods and treats which should last for a week. They will let you know the contents of each box in advance.

Other ways to get food delivered

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.

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 or Oakhouse Foods to see if they are taking on new customers.

Help from volunteers

Many charities and local community groups are 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.

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