We’re calling on the four UK governments to step up their efforts to support vulnerable households access food. Here’s why we want to see changes made.
We’re now putting pressure on the four UK governments to do more to help those vulnerable to COVID-19 access the food they need.
This wouldn’t have been possible without your help.
When I asked people to tell me about their experiences of getting groceries since lockdown, I already knew that there were issues for some. What I hadn’t expected was the scale of the response.
I was quickly inundated with hundreds of comments on Which? Conversation and social media from anxious people who were unable to get the food supplies they desperately needed, and didn’t know where to turn for help.
Many had been forced to visit the supermarket despite being shielded or self-isolating, while others were desperately concerned about how to access delivery slots. Anxious children were trying to source help for their vulnerable parents, often from hundreds of miles away.
Reading real-life stories from people who couldn’t access food wasn’t a situation I’d ever expected to find myself in at Which?, and how best to respond was something that, quite honestly, kept me awake at night.
Your feedback made it clear that help was needed, and urgently.
Our calls for action
Teams from across Which? spoke with key external stakeholders such as supermarkets and government departments to find out exactly what was being done.
We read through case studies from Which? Conversation and social media to build a picture of the situation, and to find out where there were still gaps in advice, help and action.
We want to see a simpler process for high-risk people to register for the type of support they need, whether it’s a free food box or prioritised supermarket deliveries.
The UK’s four governments must step up efforts to ensure that nobody in the clinically extremely vulnerable group has fallen through the cracks.
Let us know if the situation has improved – are you extremely vulnerable, and have you managed to get a delivery slot with a supermarket?
Clearer communication and coordination
Better coordination between governments, local authorities, the food industry and local charities is urgently needed so that the vulnerable know how to access support, whether through their local supermarket or community based provision.
This includes clearer communication about the measures in place, and greater consistency across the UK so that all vulnerable people, no matter their location, can get food and essential supplies.
We’ll keep our channels up to date with the latest advice and news for coronavirus-vulnerable households.
Finally, thank you for sharing your experiences.
While it’s been incredibly difficult not being able to get back to everyone, the comments you’ve left have led to this action, which can help change things for a large number of people.