Food and shopping

Accessing food and essential supplies

The latest advice on the range of support available is on the GOV.UK website.

Local food stores and supermarkets remain open and are using social distancing and other safety measures, which may mean some queuing so please allow extra time. Most stores offer priority shopping to key workers and older citizens. Some are also offering gift cards which can make it easier for family, friends or volunteers to pick up essential items or try online shopping  for supermarkets.

Some local food stores may offer a delivery service, while many pubs and restaurants now offer to deliver hot meals. You can find a selection of these on the community support section of our WISH website, but please note these are not endorsements.

Weekly supermarket vouchers worth £15 are available for families which normally qualify for benefits-related free school meals. These will be arranged by your child's school and sent every week. Please contact your school for more information

The Government guidance on Covid-19 allows for shopping for essential items including food. If you are in isolation, see first if friends, family, neighbours and community groups can help.

Emergency food supplies

Food banks

Food banks in Herefordshire are seeing an unprecedented demand during this time. They can provide emergency food parcels for households at a time of financial crisis. There are a number of food banks across the county. Please visit their website or Facebook pages for the latest information on referrals and donations:

Free school meal vouchers

Weekly supermarket vouchers worth £15 are available for families which normally qualify for benefits-related free school meals. These will be arranged by your child's school and sent every week.

Please contact your school for more information.

Government food parcels

These parcels provide a weekly delivery to people who are medically most vulnerable and at risk of catching Covid-19. Known as the "shielded" group who need to self-isolate, residents would have received a letter from the Government or NHS outlining how to register for a food parcel using a reference number provided. The food parcel is for the individual not the whole household. There's more information on getting support for clinically extremely vulnerable people on the GOV.UK website.

Herefordshire council are providing food packages to people who are being "shielded" but need temporary help because:

  • They have not yet received their Government food parcel
  • They have yet to register
  • There is a delay in receiving the parcel

If you find yourself in that position phone the council helpline on 01432 260027 or emailtalkcommunitycovidresponse@herefordshire.gov.uk

The council is also working with Diocese at Hereford to distribute food boxes to people coming out of hospital who need essential supplies and support. These are coordinated through the hospital discharge service.