Below is is this week's update on Defra's work on food for vulnerable people:
We will continue to engage with local authorities and charities to on-board those organisations to be able to utilise the referrals system; and, having now launched the upgraded web portal, we will be establishing a contact centre service to further streamline the on-boarding experience.
Around 100 LAs are already actively using the non-shielded vulnerable service to enable eligible people in their areas to gain access to food deliveries, helping them to help their communities; and we would like to extend this further. To get involved, please email: Covid19_referrals_to_retailers@defra.gov.uk, to request the Expression of Interest form.
Over the next week we will continue to process expressions of interest and on-board local authorities.
We have passed the 3 million food box deliveries mark this week.
Our current focus is on maintaining and improving on delivery while we wait for further clarity on the next phase of the programme.
We are continuing to develop policy options for potential future support on access to food for the shielded vulnerable. This includes working with Local Authorities to explore their role moving forward.
Further work is underway to prepare the future procurement framework; if it is required.
The Prime Minister announced £63m to be distributed to English Local Authorities for Emergency Assistance Grants to support people who cannot afford food and other essentials. We are working at pace to disburse this funding
FareShare are continuing to supply food to front-line charities organisations to help people struggling to afford food because of the effects of COVID-19
The COVID-19 Food Charity Grant Fund has proven very useful. Due to being heavily over-subscribed it is now closed.