COVID-19 - shopping and food delivery

Find out what to do if you need help to get food or shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supermarkets and shops

  • Many supermarkets have expanded their home delivery and click and collect slots, so you can order shopping to be delivered to you at home or pick it up outside the store.
  • Most supermarkets have online vouchers that you can buy and give to someone to shop on your behalf.
  • Some companies offer food boxes that can be delivered to your home.
  • In a few cases, you can order by phone.
  • Some stores are part of the Sunflower Lanyard scheme. The sunflower lanyard acts as a discreet sign that the wearer has a hidden disability and may need additional support while shopping. At stores taking part, you can collect a sunflower lanyard from the customer service desk.

Not all shops are running all these services. Have a look at their websites or phone the store to check what they are offering.

If you’re self-isolating, you must remain at home and not visit a shop in person.

Who to contact if you need help

If you need help with food or shopping for essentials, you should seek help from trusted family, friends or neighbours in the first instance.

If you don’t have anyone who could help you, contact your nearest community hub for advice and help getting support from local groups and volunteers.

If you’re avoiding public places like shops or are self-isolating at home you can also request help directly from the national NHS volunteering scheme. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to register and arrange volunteer help.

If you are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, read more advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

You can also get in touch with us to ask for a social care needs assessment.

Finding other local support

Some local voluntary and community groups can help with shopping.

If you use social media, many local voluntary groups are posting about the support they offer in local community groups.

You can use our online directories to find support near you: Find local care and support services.

Involving volunteers safely

  • Do not give volunteers your credit or debit card numbers or other financial information. It’s a good idea to pay for the shopping after you get it if you can.
  • If you have internet access you can buy volunteer e-vouchers from most of the supermarkets to give to a volunteer to buy your shopping.
  • Volunteers should follow Government guidance on working in, visiting or delivering to other people’s homes.
  • Only share your phone number or address if you need to and ask for ID if someone you don’t know calls at your home.

Meals in the community

You may also want to set up a meals delivery service if you’re struggling with shopping. To find support or a meals delivery service, search East Sussex 1Space.

If you are eligible, you may get help with the cost of a meals in the community service.

Get in touch with us to find out if you are eligible.

Affording food

Food banks

If you are struggling to afford food, food banks could help. You will usually need a food bank voucher referral to use one. Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) who will able to speak to you about your financial circumstances and can refer you to a food bank. If for any reason you can’t be supported by your local CAB, then Community hubs, voluntary and community sector organisations and local authorities can also refer people to food banks.

Find a food bank near you on East Sussex 1Space.

Welfare benefits

For help and advice with a benefits issue, please contact the East Sussex Welfare benefits helpline. More on welfare benefits.

You can also contact Citizens Advice for information about money, benefits and debt.