Food delivery tips for Coronavirus lockdown

Posted on the 7th May 2020

During the Coronavirus lockdown, many families are struggling to get food deliveries, whether they are on the Government’s extremely vulnerable list, or not. Luckily, the WellChild COVID-19 Direct Response Team have put together the following tried and tested tips for getting food deliveries, many of which have been used successfully by the team and by families themselves.


Tesco seem to be the best option we have come across. You can call their helpline on 0800 917 7359 and generally speak to somebody within 5 or 10 minutes.

If you don’t already have one, we recommend setting up an account with them before you call at

Some families have had success booking delivery slots after speaking to them, so we recommend that you try calling them first.


Aldi offer a new food parcel service with around a week’s worth of essentials for £23.99. Whilst the variety on offer is limited, it might be a good option if you need food as soon as possible. You can order online, and the delivery tends to be fast:


Morrisons have a couple of options available. You can call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5 to place an order from 47 essential items with free delivery. In our experience it generally takes between 5 and 10 minutes to speak to somebody.  This line is only for households with people who are on the government extremely vulnerable list. You can get more information here:

They also offer a food box service similar to Aldi, including dietary specific options (e.g. vegan or gluten free) which you can order online here:


A number of Co-op stores are offering food deliveries, so it’s worth checking whether the stores in your area are offering it by calling their national helpline line on 0330 0417737, or emailing They can take orders to arrange delivery on this number too. We understand that more stores are signing up to the scheme every day, so it’s worth checking back regularly.

Midcounties Co-op have been particularly good for essentials only using local volunteers. If you live in their region, you can call 0800 435 902 and select option 1. This takes you through to a team who will let you know what is available and take a food order from you. The team will then send your order through to your local store, who will ring you to take payment over the phone. The shopping is then delivered by local volunteers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


Customers of Waitrose who believe they should have access to priority slots can contact customer services via email and will be sent a form to complete that will then be investigated. If successful, their account will be updated for priority delivery slots.

It seems to be effective, but turnaround times can be slow – 72 hours for a customer service response, a further 14 days to respond to the application and another 10 days to update your account (although in reality it doesn’t always take this long). The customer service email address is:

SPAR (Northern Ireland)

Many stores in Northern Ireland are now offering a home delivery service. The list of participating stores is being added to on a regular basis and is subject to change, but is specifically for vulnerable groups. Delivery areas, costs and times are specific to each store so it is worth calling your local participating store for details. You can check the list of participating stores here:


Iceland are releasing delivery slots at 11am each day for free delivery the next day. There is a minimum spend of £35 but they have a good range of essential and value items to choose from.


If you have a local Londis store, it is worth downloading the free Londis Snack Track App and you might be able to place an order for a food delivery through that.


If Deliveroo operate in your area, it is worth checking their website. Morrisons and Marks & Spencer offer a limited range on the site in several areas and offer basic groceries delivered to your door (same day) for a delivery fee.


There are numerous food box delivery companies across the UK. The following website shows you all the available food box subscription services available. It can also be worth contacting local suppliers such as butchers and grocers who may be able to put a box together for you and deliver it too.


If you have volunteers available to help with your shopping, several supermarkets are offering special volunteer shopping cards (like gift cards) that can be topped up at home and sent to the volunteer shopping on your behalf. This means no cash needs to be exchanged, or bank details shared.

ASDA – Their volunteer card can be purchased online and then emailed to the volunteer, or printed out (physical cards are available on request) and left in a safe place for the volunteer to pick up. The volunteer shops using the card, makes the payment using the bar code in store and leaves the shopping in a safe place. Top-up from £5-£150.

SAINSBURY’S – Customers can visit Sainsbury’s dedicated web page and select how much they would like to spend on their weekly shop, between £5 – £250. The E-Gift Card will then be emailed directly to the person shopping on their behalf, which can then be redeemed at the checkout in store.

MARKS & SPENCER – M&S have a ‘We’re All in this Together Volunteer E-Gift Card’, with top ups from £10 to £500

Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose are now also offering volunteer cards:





Children eligible for free school meals can benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.

Schools can provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.

The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with the Department of Education working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.

You can find out more about the vouchers here:

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