Vulnerable residents to receive free food parcels during Covid-19 lockdown

Donations from local volunteers. Pic: Croydon Voluntary Action

Vulnerable people living in Croydon will begin to receive food parcels this week, as part of Croydon Council’s support scheme during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Council staff and local volunteers involved with Croydon Voluntary Action will be delivering regular parcels containing donated non-chilled food such as tinned goods, store cupboard packets and other non-perishable items to those who do not have anyone to shop for them or must stay at home for 12 weeks because of being high-risk to contracting coronavirus.

Hundreds of Croydon’s residents – amongst the UK’s 1.5 million considered by the NHS to being the most vulnerable from exposure to Covid-19 – have received a letter over the past week notifying them to stay at home and contact Croydon Council should they need help.

Any resident identified as being in this priority group will:

  • Need to call the council, quoting a reference number on their NHS letter
  • Be told which day their parcel will arrive
  • Receive it between 6am and 10pm from a member of council staff or vetted volunteer carrying appropriate ID
  • Be asked in advance where the parcel should be left – outside or in the kitchen
  • Have separate arrangements for delivery of medicines through their local pharmacy
  • Be offered any wraparound support needed, including social care and safeguarding
  • Have access to a council helpline from Monday 30 March (0208 604 7787) and email ( to get support and advice quickly.

Over the coming weeks, parcels may change to meet any rise in demand and expand on what is available to have in them. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables and foods’ that meet residents’ dietary and religious requirements.

Croydon Council are also giving support to those who do not meet the medical criteria for this scheme but are struggling to access food. For example, supermarket vouchers and welfare advice when applying for help with rent, bills and living costs. The council has also set up a series of Food Stops that offer reduced-priced groceries, which they are looking to expand further across Croydon in the coming weeks.

Council leader, Tony Newman, said: “It is vital that we stay at home and save lives in these unprecedented times, but for those who cannot shop for themselves and have no wider support network these food parcels are a lifeline for some of our most vulnerable local residents.

“By working with our superb local partners in the NHS and the voluntary sector, we are helping not just those needing these parcels but also people across the borough, and this is part of a wider council push to ensure no-one is left behind.”

For more information, visit the Covid-19 pages on the council website, which includes service updates and advice for borough residents. Support is also available from Croydon Voluntary Action via their website

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