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Get help accessing food and essentials during COVID-19

There is help available if you are struggling to get food and essentials.

Help for the extremely vulnerable

The Government is providing direct support (e.g. deliveries of food and other essential supplies) to people who have a medical condition that makes them extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

If you are in this category you should have received a letter or been contacted by your GP.

Find out more about who is classed as extremely vulnerable.

If you are extremely vulnerable you can register for support on the Governent’s website (or ask a friend/family member to register for you).

Help if you are not classed as extremely vulnerable

Community Connections Lewisham

The COVID-19 response hub has moved to Community Connections Lewisham for ongoing support during the pandemic to help you with:

  • staying active
  • support with food issues
  • accessing befriending and practical assistance
  • finding new opportunities for employment, training and learning
  • volunteering and participating in local projects
  • connecting with groups and communities, and accessing social opportunities.

Call them on 0330 058 3464. The phone line is open Monday to Friday 9.30am–4pm.

Food banks

There are community food banks open across the borough. Find an open food bank.

NHS Volunteer Responders

If you are medically vulnerable, NHS Volunteer Responders can help collecting shopping and medication.

You are considered medically vulnerable if you:

  • are 70 years or over and have an underlying health condition
  • are extremely vulnerable and have been sent a letter asking you to shield (read more about shielding)
  • are pregnant
  • newly socially vulnerable as a result of COVID-19
  • have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010
  • have another high risk condition which could include:
    • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • a serious heart condition
    • people who are immunocompromised
    • severe obesity
    • underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, dementia and liver disease.

To request help or refer someone you care for call 0808 196 3646.

Visit the NHS Volunteer Responders’ website for more information.

Local mutual aid groups

Mutal aid groups connect those in need with local volunteers.

Find your local mutual aid group to get support.

Online supermarkets

The Government have shared the list of extremely vulnerable people with supermarkets. Supermarkets aim to give these people priority delivery slots. Call your preferred supermarket for more information.

Find out more about who is classed as extremely vulnerable.

You may also be able to get priority deliver slots if you are not classed as extremely vulnerable but cannot get to the shops. Call your preferred supermarket for more information.

Free school meals

If you get certain welfare benefits, you can apply for free school meals for your child. Read more about free school meals.

If you have mobility issues

If you have a serious mobility impairment, you can use your Taxicard to get food and supplies.

Further advice

Contact us if you have any questions or you need help applying for the support above by:

  • calling us on 0208 314 3535 (we are open Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm)
  • emailing incident@lewisham.gov.uk
  • for urgent support outside of office hours call 0208 314 6000.