Stores urged to help vulnerable people missed by government scheme  

A volunteer from Ealing Soup Kitchen prepares food parcels for clients on March 30, 2020 in Ealing, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Supermarkets and shops are being urged to help get support to the most vulnerable people who may be missed by a national subsistence scheme.

The government on Sunday confirmed that first free food boxes containing essential supplies have been delivered to those at highest risk from coronavirus.

The first 2,000 food parcels have already been delivered last weekend to those who cannot leave their homes. More parcels are expected to go out this week from wholesalers across the country, bringing the first set of deliveries to more than 50,000.

1.5 million clinically vulnerable people have been advised by the NHS to stay at home for 12 weeks and be shielded from coronavirus. The packages contain essential food and household items such as pasta, fruit, tinned goods and biscuits.

North Yorkshire County Council said it has identified a number of other people who will not be part of this group but may still be in critical need of help.

“People can help themselves by using the big supermarkets for deliveries but there are local businesses that may be able to help you and we are putting them in touch with local community groups to arrange local solutions,” said County council leader Cllr Les Carl.

“Buying local at this time also helps local businesses that might be struggling, so even for those people not in a vulnerable category this is an opportunity to support your local businesses.”

Carl added that local businesses are responding well to their request and have offered help.

“If there are local supermarkets or shops that can help with this work to protect the vulnerable, we urge them to contact us,” he said.

If you are a business that wants to help, get in touch with the county council on with details of where you are and how you could help.

Carl Gavaghan, of the Local Democracy Reporting Service, contributed to this report.