Vulnerable and elderly shoppers struggling to secure online grocery delivery slots will now be redirected to local volunteer shopping groups amid new government measures.
All UK supermarkets will soon post a universal script on their websites allowing shoppers to input their postcode and be redirected to one of 300 local food hubs, according to The Grocer.
Here vulnerable shoppers, including those who are pregnant, have an underlying health condition, or are over 70, will be able to get in touch with local volunteers who can carry out their shopping in-store for them.
The government’s new plan is designed to ease the massive strain on supermarket’s delivery networks, which have warned that they cannot fulfil the orders of all vulnerable shoppers.
It is understood that there are between five and 19 million vulnerable people within this category in the UK, which is separate from the government’s list of “clinically extremely vulnerable” people advised to self-isolate for three months.
“We are working to support people who do not fall into the category of being clinically extremely vulnerable, but still need help getting essential food supplies,” a DEFRA spokesperson told The Grocer.
This comes amid government announcements that supermarkets will soon be adding an extra 300,000 delivery slots in a bid to meet demand, having already added an extra 500,000 since the start of the pandemic.