Consumer Groups Call for Better Government Coordination to Prevent the Vulnerable from Going Hungry

The consumer group Which? has called for urgent action from the government to improve coordination with the food industry to help thousands of vulnerable people who are still not accessing the food deliveries they need during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The consumer group said it had been contacted by more than 1,000 people who were either disabled, elderly or had illnesses that put them at high risk of Covid-19 and were having difficulties getting grocery essentials.  

While supermarkets have introduced measures designed to help individuals identified by the government as vulnerable, more than six weeks into lockdown the consumer group is continuing to hear from people who are missing out on provisions. Which? saythat many who have been advised to shield are struggling to book supermarket delivery slots, are unable to find the help they need locally and find themselves forced to risk their health to get supplies. 

Meanwhile the disability charity Scope said almost half of the 600 disabled adults it surveyed had problems getting essential items and that 38% of respondents had been unsuccessful in booking supermarket delivery slots in the past three weeks. 

Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection at Which?, said: “Without easily accessible and clearer information for these people, and stronger coordination between the UK’s central and devolved governments, the food industry, local authorities and local charities, there is a risk that many will go hungry during this pandemic.”

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