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Food Supply: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Minister (Education)

What steps he is taking to maintain food supplies for vulnerable people during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Zarah Sultana Zarah Sultana Labour, Coventry South

What steps he is taking to maintain food supplies for vulnerable people during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

What steps he is taking to maintain food supplies for vulnerable people during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Shielded individuals can opt to receive deliveries of food and essential supplies if they are without a support network of friends and family while self-isolating at home.

We have been working with food retailers, delivery organisations and volunteer groups to help support the non-shielded vulnerable, who are avoiding going to the shops if possible. A range of options are available for those people, including asking for an NHS Volunteer Responder to do their shopping for them – 100,000 people have had help with community tasks like shopping from NHS responders so far. Many charities and community organisations are also providing voluntary shop and drop services, as are neighbours and other community volunteers. If the situation is urgent, local authorities can also offer support and services, and we are working with them to help make sure that they have a range of ways to help those who contact them.

We are also working to help those having difficulty affording food. The Government has announced up to £16 million to provide food for those who are struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The programme will provide millions of meals over the next 12 weeks and be delivered through charities including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). At least 5,000 frontline charities in England will benefit, including refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services. It will cover rural areas as well as cities, targeting those who are struggling to get food.

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