County Council meets special dietary needs of vulnerable self-isolating residents

basket of fresh produce

Posted on: 24 April 2020

Extremely vulnerable residents in receipt of the government’s weekly food parcels are asked to contact Devon County Council if they have certain dietary requirements.

There are currently nearly 19,000 people in Devon who have been told by the government to ‘shield’ from coronavirus (COVID-19) by not leaving their home until the end of June because they have an underlying health condition that puts them at high risk of severe illness if they catch it.

Over 8,000 of them have asked the government to arrange for essential groceries to be delivered because they can’t use online supermarket services and don’t have any friends, family or neighbours who can help them.

The free packages contain a range of basic food supplies, but don’t cater for those with specific nutritional needs, so the County Council has stepped in to arrange ‘top-up food boxes’ with appropriate produce for vegetarians, vegans and those with a dairy or gluten intolerance to be delivered fortnightly by a local supplier.

Deliveries of other special provisions can also be organised though the local authority hubs, which are run in partnership with the district councils.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

“This is a difficult time for everybody, but especially those who have been asked not to leave their homes until the end of June because they are more likely to get severely ill and be admitted to hospital if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19).

“It means they can’t go out to shop for basic food supplies. Communities are doing a brilliant job supporting family, friends and neighbours, and supermarkets are prioritising delivery slots for vulnerable customers.

“But if you have nobody to help, ask the government to send you essential groceries, and then get in touch with us too if you have a specific dietary requirement. Depending on what you need, we can arrange a top-up box to be delivered or refer you through our local authority hub for help so you have a range of food you can eat.”

Everyone who has received a letter advising that they are clinically extremely vulnerable should register on the government website or call 0800 028 8327 to register for extra support, even if they don’t need it right now.

If you are receiving a government food parcel and have a certain dietary requirement that isn’t being met, please contact Devon County Council via the Devon Coronavirus Emergency Helpline on 0345 155 1011.

Posted in: Community | Health and Wellbeing