Access food and other essential support during COVID-19

We know that some Camden residents are struggling. This may have been made worse by the current health emergency. You may have concerns about access to food and other essential items. 

Camden Council and partner organisations are here to help whether:

  • you have been identified by the NHS as someone who needs to be shielded from infection
  • someone with an underlying health issue who is choosing to self-isolate
  • someone who is not housebound but is struggling financially 

To ensure you find support suited to you, follow the links below:

Support for shielded residents – this offer is available to anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable (high risk) and has received a letter from the NHS asking them to self-isolate.

Support for vulnerable residents – this offer is available to individuals who have not received a letter from the NHS, but have underlying health conditions that make them clinically vulnerable (moderate risk) and are choosing to stay home as much as possible.

Support for residents facing financial hardship – this offer is available to anyone struggling financially as a result of the current health emergency.

You can also call us to discuss your needs on 020 7974 4444 (option 9)

Support for shielded residents

We understand the anxiety and practical difficulties presented by the health emergency. If you have health needs that mean you are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, you will have received a letter from the NHS asking you take extra precautions to protect yourself. These extra precautions are referred to as ‘shielding’ and involve you and your household staying home to prevent infection.

If you or someone in your household requires shielding and you need additional support accessing food and essentials, there are a number of options available to you.

Government food deliveries

If you are one of the 1.5m people across the UK who have been identified as needing shielding and cannot leave their home, you can access essential food deliveries from the Government. 

If you qualify for these food parcels then the NHS will have written to you. Their letter includes information on how to access these deliveries. 

You can also visit the Government website mentioned in your letter to sign up for priority supermarket shopping deliveries.

Camden’s Shielding Programme

To help the Government, we are contacting all shielded residents across Camden who are eligible for these deliveries. When we call, we will discuss your needs including access to food, collection of your prescriptions, transport to medical appointments and more.  

We offer a range of emergency support for anyone with less than two days food supply, or other essentials unable to leave their home and do not have family, friends, neighbours or others that can provide support. 
 

Support for vulnerable residents

Not everyone with a health condition will have received a letter from the NHS advising them to stay home. If you are clinically vulnerable and and are staying home as much as possible to protect yourself from infection, then a number of food support services are available to you should you need them. 

Priority supermarket food delivery

The Government is working with supermarkets to ensure that those who are self-isolating because of an underlying health condition are able to get priority food delivery. You can sign up to the Government’s scheme on our Priority supermarket delivery page. 

Support from the voluntary sector

There are a range of voluntary organisations across Camden who are doing their bit to support residents in need. You can find a list of voluntary organisations working in your area on our online directory.

They can help you access a wide range of services and practical including:

  • Food
  • Prescriptions
  • Financial advice and support
  • Mental health support
  • Employment advice 
  • Mutual aid

Age UK Camden
We have funded and are working closely with Age UK Camden to offer an additional emergency food parcel service. 

You can access Age UK Camden food parcels if you are housebound, unable to get food, have less than two days of food in your home and do not have anyone to get food for you. The parcel includes milk, bread, butter, eggs, biscuits, tea, coffee, tinned food, cereal, toilet roll and soap. This is available to anyone regardless of their age.

If you or someone you know is housebound and in food crisis, you can request an emergency food parcel by calling Age UK Camden on 020 7837 3777. You can read more about Age UK Camden’s work here.

Support for residents facing financial hardship

We understand that the current situation may have put financial pressures on you and your household. If you are not self-isolating but need extra help accessing food and other support, then a number of services are available to you. 

Accessing foodbanks and community food hubs

To access a foodbank you will need foodbank vouchers. You can get referrals to access these from Council officers, social workers, children’s centres, GP surgeries and advice charities. 

There are four main foodbanks in Camden, three are operated by Trussel Trust:

Camden Foodbank

Euston Foodbank

Chalk Farm Foodbank

The fourth is a mobile foodbank that travels to different locations in the borough, you can refer yourself to this service here

Since lockdown came into place a number of community emergency food distribution centres have also been set up. Many of these are available to anyone who needs them, regardless of whether or not you have foodbank vouchers. You can find details of local distribution centres on our online service directory.

With increased demand for foodbanks, donations from the public are more important than ever. If you are able to provide non-perishable groceries such as cereal, soups, pasta, tinned foods, UHT milk and more, please help by giving directly to your local foodbank or by leaving in your supermarket’s collection point. You can find out more about how to donate and what to donate here.

Access food support from schools

If your child is entitled to free school meals then you are eligible for additional food support. You can access this directly through your school’s website. 

Support from the voluntary sector

There are a range of voluntary organisations across Camden who are doing their bit to support residents in need. You can find a list of voluntary organisations working in your area on our online directory.

They can help you access a wide range of services and practical including:

  • Food
  • Prescriptions
  • Financial advice and support
  • Mental health support
  • Employment advice 
  • Mutual aid


Support for sheltered housing tenants 

If you have a family member living in sheltered housing, please be assured that we are doing whatever we can to support them. All tenants in our 23 schemes have regular contact with their housing managers, either face to face or over the phone, and where a resident is in need of shielding this contact is daily.

Where residents are unable to access help themselves, housing managers have been collecting shopping and prescriptions, they have also helped individuals with top up gas and electric move over to online payments. 

Where necessary, sheltered housing tenants have also been put in touch with voluntary sector partners including:

  • Age UK Camden
  • QCCA
  • The Winch
  • Highgate Newtown Community Centre
  • Local TRAs
     

Priority supermarket delivery

We are working with central government to ensure that those who need to stay at home as much as possible can access priority food deliveries. 

You can choose between Tesco and Iceland deliveries. If you want an Iceland delivery, please first check with Iceland that they deliver to your postcode: Iceland website

You can check the eligibility criteria and apply for a supermarket priority delivery slot using the online form below.

Apply for priority food delivery

Help completing the form

If you need help completing the online form or wish to make any changes, please call the Coronavirus Support Line on 020 7974 4444 (option 9), Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

You can nominate anyone to support you to complete the form. This includes friends, family and neighbours.

Minimum spend

For Tesco deliveries, the minimum spend is £40.

For Iceland, the minimum spend is £25.

If you’d like to get help with your shopping from another supermarket, please visit the Age UK Camden website which includes the offers from other supermarkets in Camden.

How will I know if I have got a slot?

For Tesco deliveries, Tesco will contact you within 72 hours to give you a priority food delivery slot. Camden has been given a certain number of priority shopping spaces. If these have already been used, we will let you know and tell you of other ways of getting supermarket shopping. 

For Iceland deliveries, Camden will contact you within 3 working days and give you a passcode. This will give you access to priority shopping via their website. 

Questions about your priority slot?

If you have been given a priority slot and have questions, please contact the supermarket directly.

If you can’t get a priority slot, or need food earlier

All large supermarkets in Camden are offering support to get food. Please visit the Age UK Camden website for more information on what’s available.

You can also contact the Coronavirus Support Line on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) for help in getting emergency food. Emergency food is for you are housebound, have two days or less of food and have no one to help you get food.

Who can apply for priority supermarket deliveries?

The priority supermarket delivery scheme is available for residents who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Unable to access food because you are self-isolating at home due to exposure to COVID-19 (or suspected exposure in the absence of verification through testing)
  • Unable to access food because you are staying at home as much as possible due to pre-existing health conditions. Includes those who are:
    • Aged 70 or older
    • Pregnant
    • Have one of the following conditions:
    • Lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis
    • Heart disease, such as heart failure
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • Conditions affecting the brain and nerves, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
    • Diabetes
    • Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease, or if you've had your spleen removed
    • A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
    • Being very overweight (having a BMI of 40 or above)
  • Unable to access food due to COVID-19 impact on food delivery
  • If you are disabled or have a long-term health condition (e.g. neurological conditions, mental health issues, physical disabilities, the blind and partially sighted etc.) and rely on food delivery via supermarkets or support networks, which may have been cut off due to increased delivery demand and/or your support network self-isolating/distancing.

 

Apply for priority supermarket delivery