Over 1 million boxes of essential food have now been delivered to those at highest risk across England, with more than 290,000 boxes being distributed every week and 330,000 delivered in the last week, Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP announced today (6 May 2020).
Speaking this afternoon, the Communities Secretary hailed the efforts of everyone involved in surpassing this milestone for the government-led programme, including national food distributors, Brakes and Bidfood, who have been delivering packages directly to clinically vulnerable people’s doorsteps.
The shielding programme, an unprecedented package of support for those most at risk from coronavirus, has seen government partner with the food industry and local councils to deliver a programme on a scale not seen since the Second World War.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
The coronavirus emergency has brought uncertain and difficult times but the willingness of people to pull together and support those most in need is an inspiration to us all.
This week, another significant milestone has been achieved with one million food packages delivered to those most at risk from the virus. This is an incredible achievement from this government programme’s standing start of at the end of March.
I could not be prouder and I want to thank everyone involved, from the food box delivery drivers, to volunteers and council officials ensuring local support networks meet the needs of their communities – together, our continued and astonishing effort will provide the support that those most at risk need, for as long as they need it.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
I would like to say a big thank you to Brakes and Bidfood for getting more than one million food parcels onto the doorsteps of those in need. It is an excellent achievement in such a short space of time.
The food and drink industry is working incredibly hard to support the most vulnerable at this time, but we know there is more to do. We are continuing to work closely with local authorities, charities and industry partners to support those who still need help getting essential food supplies.
There are around 2.1 million people with underlying severe health conditions which make them most at risk from coronavirus who must be protected and have been asked to stay at home and shield.
Many have local family and friends who can get the vital provisions needed. For those without, the government has committed to providing the support they need, for as long as they need it.