Millions of people are currently shielding at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Those ‘shielding’ are disabled people and the elderly who the government consider being the most at risk from the coronavirus. The government have put in place an emergency food and medicine delivery service for those shielding who are unable to get their own shopping. So you may be wondering what’s inside the government shielding food parcel?
What is the Government food parcel?
The government food parcel is a free weekly box of basic food and essential supplies. The boxes contain items that the government consider to be a week’s worth of food that an individual or family needs to live for one week.
Who are the Government food parcels for?
The message from the beginning of this pandemic has been that people must stay at home and only go outside if completely necessary (to buy food/medicine and exercise once a day).
Unless you are classed as ‘high-risk’ due to having underlying health issues, compromised immune systems, undergoing cancer treatment and the elderly, then you must shield for twelve weeks at home.
Personally, I have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscle wasting condition with a weakened respiratory system. This makes me ‘high-risk’ and a member of the ‘vulnerable group’ which was confirmed after receiving my shielding letter from the Scottish Government.
Why is the Government food parcel important?
For the ‘shielding’ community we are having to rely on online food deliveries or the support of family/neighbours to go to the shops and buy our essentials. But what if we can’t order online food deliveries or have family/neighbours to help us? That’s when the governments shielding food parcels are vital.
Many of the big-name supermarkets have implemented a system giving those who are shielding priority delivery slots. You must have a government shielding letter in order to register as a priority customer with the supermarkets.
However, it’s not that straightforward and there are many ‘vulnerable’ people unable to secure priority delivery slots with any of the supermarkets.
What’s Inside the Government ‘Shielding’ Food Parcel?
- Semi-skimmed milk (long-life) x2
- Cooking Sauce (pasta)
- Tinned chopped tomatoes x 2
- Baked beans x 2
- Soup x 4
- Tinned Meat
- Teabags (40 bags)
- Shower gels
- Toilet paper
Priority supermarket deliveries
I’m one of those unable to book a food delivery with any of the supermarkets. At the beginning of the lockdown and before I had my shielding letter, I was managing with a little difficulty to book slots week by week with Asda.
Now that I’m registered as a priority with Asda, I cannot get a slot at all. Nothing!
Even though I can’t get a delivery slot with Asda, they are the only supermarket who have contacted me and acknowledged I’m ‘shielding’. I’m still waiting to hear from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Iceland and Waitrose.
I have even had online accounts with Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons for years. So why am I not being registered as a priority with them?
I’ve even tried to book standard delivery slots with these supermarkets but all the slots are sold out due to such high demand.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just my experience. Thousands of others are having the same issues and left with no food or anyone to help and risking their health to go to the shops.
Watch our government food parcel unboxing video
How to order a Government food parcel?
The free weekly government food parcel boxes can be ordered via the SMS Shielding Service (details on the Government Shielding letter) or the local authority helpline.
There will only be basic food items in the government food boxes, so it been advised if you need period products to contact your local authority to make arrangements unless you can buy them with your online grocery shopping.
Who delivers the Government food parcel?
The Scottish Government have contracted Brakes & Bidfood to provide the groceries and deliver the boxes. At the moment, the food boxes do not cater for different dietary requirements.
The hope is that there will soon be an option to request vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free as well as boxes that cater to food allergies and religious restrictions.
The government shielding food parcels are a lifeline for thousands of people who are shielding at home with no family support or able to secure online food deliveries from supermarkets.
Have you struggled to book online food deliveries? Have supermarkets given you priority slots? Did you receive the government food parcel?
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