Supermarkets: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th April 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Valentine Baroness Valentine Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice has been given to food retailers operating supermarkets in the UK about those who wish to make bulk purchases for local foodbanks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need.

We welcome the efforts of industry to support food banks and front-line charities through donations of food and funds. Additionally, the Government has announced a £3 million fund for food redistribution organisations to prevent good food going to waste.

We are working closely with food banks and food aid charities to understand the impacts the outbreak is having on their operations, to ensure that those who are financially vulnerable have access to essential supplies.

The Government has begun to deliver food parcels to those identified by the NHS as being extremely clinically vulnerable.

We are working quickly to support people who do not fall into the category of being clinically vulnerable, but still need help getting essential food supplies. This could include those who are elderly, disabled or who have health conditions that make it difficult for them to get the food they need.

As stock on shelves begin to replenish many supermarkets have now begun to lift buying restrictions on products to help people shop for others.

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