Food deliveries from volunteers provide lifeline

Families in parts of rural England say they are totally dependent on volunteers delivering food during the coronavirus crisis

In rural England many households face long journeys to buy food and this is more difficult if families are self-isolating. Under lockdown restrictions, shopping for food is one of only four reasons why people are allowed to leave their home.

In parts of central London it takes an average of eight minutes to make a round trip from home to a food store on foot or using public transport, excluding time in the shop. In Eden in Cumbria a similar journey would take an average of over half an hour each way, the data suggested.

Across England the average one-way journey time in a car to a food store in a major town or city is seven minutes. A similar journey made from a small rural village would take on average 11 minutes and thirty six seconds

The Countryside Alliance said volunteers were "plugging gaps"Sarah Lee (from the Countryside Alliance) said rural businesses and volunteer groups were providing a lifeline to many of the most isolated people in the country.

"I think a lot of rural residents who are vulnerable aren't automatically on a government or council priority list for online food deliveries from the supermarkets," she said.

"What we are seeing though is a huge amount of resilience from rural communities and local shops and volunteers, who are plugging gaps when services are struggling to reach people".

Councils across England are helping to coordinate the efforts of volunteer groups to ensure that vital supplies reach those most in need

Full article:

The BBC - Coronavirus: Food deliveries from volunteers provide lifeline


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