Food and Shopping

This page will be updated regularly as and when there are further announcements from the Government. This page was last updated 07 April 2020.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, has been holding regular calls with key stakeholders in the food supply chain, to ensure that we take whatever steps are necessary to enable food producers, distributors and retailers to meet an increase in demand.

The food retail sector has made it clear that we have sufficient food for everyone, but have urged shoppers to be considerate of others and only buy what they need.

The Government has also announced a relaxing of competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together to ensure that everyone has access to food and essential supplies when they need them.

  • The relaxing of these competition laws will allow retailers to share data with each other on stock levels, cooperate to support each other’s shops, share distribution depots and delivery vans.
  • It will also allow retailers to pool staff with one another to help meet this high demand.

During this time we must all pull together for the good of our nation and ensure we protect the most venerable. We must shop considerately and look out for NHS staff, friends, family and neighbours.

Supermarket Provision and Community Groups


Supermarkets will be accessing the government’s vulnerable database list so that they can be prioritised for food deliveries.

You can find out more using the following links:

Tesco -

Sainsbury’s -


Morrisons -

Ocado -

Iceland -

Waitrose -

Aldi -

Lidl -



A spokesperson for Asda said the supermarket is working with the government and several other supermarkets “to ensure those people who have identified as highly vulnerable get what they need and are protected from Covid-19“.

“We have a dedicated team who will work with government on the available data to support as many extremely vulnerable people as we can — whilst also continuing to ensure our stores are stocked and our deliveries are moving for millions of customers nationwide,” the spokesperson outlined.


Iceland has limited its online delivery slots to older and vulnerable people. Anyone visiting Iceland’s website is met with a message asking them if they are eligible for the service.

For those who aren’t over state pension age and who are able to get to the shops, Iceland says they should not be using home delivery.

In a statement Iceland said: “We're working hard to add as many delivery slots as possible, however demand is currently very high.

“Please note that due to continued high demand in our stores, customers may still be missing items in their online orders.

“We'll be in contact to let you know when online deliveries are back to normal.”

First hour is reserved for elderly and vulnerable. Last hour for NHS staff.


Morrisons has launched £35 'ration' food boxes filled with essentials such as toilet roll, pasta and bread.

7am to 8am are also reserved for NHS workers.



Sainsbury's shoppers can only get home delivery at present if they're an elderly or vulnerable customer or they already have a delivery pass. You should have had an email to confirm you're in this group. This is based on your date of birth and if you have ever used the supermarket's vulnerable customer helpline.

If you’re elderly, disabled or vulnerable and think you should be on Sainsbury's vulnerable customer list, please get in touch on 0800 328 1700. As you can appreciate, the level of demand has meant that there may be some wait, but they are working on this.


Tesco is limiting online shoppers to 80 items per order as part of a plan to increase the number of delivery slots available to vulnerable households.

Supermarket home deliveries usually contain fewer than 60 products but some worried shoppers have been placing orders of more than 100.

To “reach more customers with more deliveries”, Tesco said a new limit of 80 products had been set. It said the change would enable it to get “more orders on to each van, helping us to ensure all customers can get the essentials they need”.

A spokesperson said: “We know that it’s difficult to get a delivery slot for online shopping at the moment due to high demand, and we ask those who are able to safely come to stores to do so that we can start to free up more slots for the more vulnerable.”

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8am to 9am is reserved for the vulnerable and elderly.


Other food outlets

Abel and Cole

Abel and Cole deliver organic food boxes, as well as household cleaning products to your door.

Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry

Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry are add-on services for Prime members.

Prime costs £7.99 a month or £79 a year, although you can sign up for a one month free trial.

Once you've got Prime, you can order household essentials from Amazon Pantry for a flat fee of £3.99, although you need to order at least £15-worth.

Amazon Fresh, meanwhile, costs £3.99 a month or £2.99 per order, as long as you order at least £40.

Fresh is a tie-up with retailers including Boots and Morrisons, which means you can buy their own-brand goods.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh is the UK’s largest recipe box company, sending you recipes and all the fresh ingredients you need to cook them.

The company has been “working closely with our suppliers to make sure we have plenty of ingredients available for our customers”.

Hello Fresh CEO, Laurent Guillemain, said: “We’re in constant conversation with our courier partners to ensure your deliveries remain reliable and consistent.

“As a reminder, your boxes can be delivered straight to your front door or safe location chosen by you.”

Community Groups

Bideford Mutual Aid and Community Support

Lydford Volunteer Network

Mary Tavy Community Support

Okehampton Coronavirus Support Group (covers surrounding areas)

Tavistock Locals Help

Torridge CVS

Great Torrington (and Rural) COVID-19 Mutual Aid and Support

West Devon Borough Council Community Response Team

  • ‘If you are in need — or know someone who is — you can register that need by calling 01822 813600 or 01803 861234 providing the relevant name, contact number and address where possible.
  • Local voluntary groups can register by contacting the council at the email address