Care Homes: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th April 2020.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to provide support to care homes that are facing difficulties accessing deliveries of fresh produce.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra has been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education to ensure that care homes can access the food they need, through wholesalers, retailers and other local suppliers.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has set up a new online portal ( to enable care homes to find local wholesalers, based on a postcode search. The website is also highlighted on the Care Providers Association website. This portal will help those care homes struggling to get supplies during the COVID-19 outbreak. More than 90 national and regional wholesalers have signed up to the scheme so far.

Defra has also been working closely with retailers on their online provision services. Retailers have worked hard to increase their online capacity of both click and collect and delivery slots available to customers, including care homes. Many have now lifted or significantly relaxed their item limits on home delivery orders which should aid the ability of care homes to get the supplies they need in sufficient quantities.

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