Last updated: 05/05/2020
News: Marks & Spencer has announced a new delivery service with Deliveroo. Scroll down for more details.
If you've tried to do an online shop recently, you'll know just how hard it is to come by one of those coveted delivery slots. For those who are vulnerable, however, this can be particularly tricky, as online orders can be the only way to get groceries without having to rely on someone else to visit the shop for you. Many supermarkets are tackling the problem by rolling out new measures where extremely vulnerable people will get priority deliveries. Here's what you need to know, including which shops are introducing this and how to check if you qualify. Don't forget to share your experiences of registering as a vulnerable shopper on our forum.
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If you have a pre-existing medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, you are able to register with the government to receive support. You can find a list of conditions that are included in this definition, and advice on what you need to do if this applies to you, on the government website here.
The NHS have recently sent out letters to those it considers to be clinically extremely vulnerable, telling them to self-isolate for at least 12 weeks, and to not leave the house for this period, including for food shopping, so for those who can not leave the house at all, it's crucial for them to be able to access online delivery slots.
The government has identified people they believe to be vulnerable and have been sharing the information with supermarkets, so that they can directly contact people who would benefit from online delivery services.
If you've not received a letter from the NHS, but think you qualify for this support you can register yourself, or on behalf of someone, on the government website. Please note, that this registering process is unfortunately only available to those who live in England. If you live in England, you can use this website to register. You'll then need to fill in a questionnaire.
There are similar services are available to people who live in Scotland, and Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland there is a community helpline you can ring that is open seven days a week, where you will find more information about how to get food.
Tesco says it will prioritise customers who are on the government's list of vulnerable people. If you're on the list, Tesco will contact you by email. To try and get access to a priority slot, you can also phone 0800 917 7359. Tesco is encouraging people to use these slots as little possible, they can to free them up for people who truly have no other way to get food. So even if you are entitled to a slot, if it's possible for you to get someone else to go into the store and do your shopping for you, you should try to do this instead.
The supermarket has identified hundreds of thousands of people classed to be vulnerable for priority home delivery slots, and will contact them by email as soon as they can.
Sainsbury's has recenlty introduced a one-hour delivery service called Chop Chop, which allows customers to order a top-up shop of up to 20 items. There is a £4.99 delivery fee for this service.
ASDA has recently increased the number of delivery slots they do from 450,000 a week to 700,000 a week to keep up with demand. They has already contacted over 91,000 vulnerable people with an ASDA linked email address to offer them delivery slots free of charge. If you do meet the criteria and haven't yet had a letter from them there are number of things they suggest you can do.
1) Log on to your account and make sure that your name, address and contact details are the same as those the government has for you.
2) If you are eligible but don't have an ASDA account and someone in your household does, ask if they can change the details so that they match yours.
Waitrose has contacted all customers over 70, and is offering them and other vulnerable people priority slots on its website. The supermarket is currently working with the government to try and find ways to reach out to those on the list of vulnerable people.
In order to stop their systems being overwhelmed, Waitrose is asking people to wait for information, rather than try and contact them to find out. If you have an Ocado smart pass, it's still relatively easy to get delivery - you can find out more here.
Morrisons is offering new delivery slots through its website and its Amazon prime store. The supermarket has also created a call centre for customers who do not shop online, although there are currently no available slots - check back here to see if any have become available.
To make online shopping simpler, Morrisons have also introduced a range of food boxes which can be delivered.
Iceland are only allowing online orders to be made by customers who are over state pension age, self-isolating or otherwise vulnerable, such as those who are disabled.
If you go to the website to make an a order, a pop-up will appear asking if you are over the state pension age, vulnerable or self-isolating. If you say yes, you will be able request a delivery slot.
The high-end retailer has announced that 130 of its home and food items are now available via Deliveroo. There is a £4.99 delivery charge and they say deliveries will take a mere 30 minutes. See what other gransnetters are saying about M&S's new delivery service here.
If you can't leave the house for other reasons, here are a few ways to get food if you need it.