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Help with food during COVID-19

UPDATED 13 AUGUST 2020   

Is the Food Parcel scheme still available? 

The Food Parcel Scheme provided by the Department for Communities ended on 31 July 2020. 

Is other help available? 

Until 23 September, the COVID-19 Community Helpline will signpost anyone in need.  You can visit the Advice NI website here, phone the COVID-19 freephone community helpline on 0808 802 0020, email: covid19@adviceni.net or text: ACTION to 81025 to discuss your needs.   

The level of help given will depend on your circumstances:

Free food centre/Foodbanks:

The COVID-19 Community helpline, The Consumer CouncilCommunity NI and will have information on the nearest local free food centre/ foodbanks and other community support near you

Local Deliveries
  • If you don't have anyone to help you with your shopping and you can afford food, then you should get deliveries from local shops or supermarkets: 
  • Spar/Eurospar/Vivo/Centra Home delivery:
    • Over 200 Spar and Vivo shops across Northern Ireland are offering a home delivery service for vulnerable people. You can find the full list and contact details of each store by clicking this link. 
    • Many Centra stores are also now operating a delivery service and you can find their details here.
    • Phone your local Spar, Eurospar, Vivo or Centra and ask for their delivery service.
    • The store staff will do your shop with you over the phone
    • Many let you pay by card over the phone for your shopping and for the cost of a taxi to deliver it to your home. Some may do this free of charge.
    • Your items will be delivered to you by taxi as soon as possible
    • Who Is Delivering? Northern Ireland is a Facebook group (run by members of the community) which allows users to share information on businesses in Northern Ireland delivering fresh food, groceries and pre-made meals -visit the page by clicker here: www.facebook.com/groups/WhoIsDeliveringNI. This is an unofficial community group so content, accuracy and reliability cannot always be guaranteed.
Online shopping - big supermarkets

If you had previously registered for a priority online supermarket delivery slot for people shielding on NI Direct and were allocated a priority delivery slot with Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, or Iceland, these supermarkets should continue to honour your delivery slot.  But from 31 July 2020, the scheme is currently closed to new registrations.

Volunteers

Volunteers may also be able to pick up your shopping from a local shop. You contact the COVID-19 Community Helpline on 0808 802 0020, who will be able to signpost you to local advice service for help from a volunteer.

Help with anything else

Advice NI offer support for those who need help with benefits advice/debt advicemedicine deliveryfuel and social contact. Call 0808 802 0020 or visit the Advice NI website here.  If you need any help for any other reason, go to Covid Wellbeing NI  or Helplines NI