First food boxes delivered to people shielding from coronavirus

The Welsh Government says the first food boxes are being delivered to the doorsteps of people who are adopting strict shielding measures to protect themselves from coronavirus.

More than 80,000 people across Wales have been asked to undertake shielding measures because they are classed as extremely vulnerable to serious illness if they are exposed to the virus.

Everyone in this group has a particular, long-term, pre-existing health condition, which increases their risk to coronavirus.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton has written to all of them asking them to take shielding measures – including staying at home for 12 weeks – to protect their health.

The people in this group who are not able to call on help from family members, friends or neighbours while they are shielding, will receive support, including a free weekly food box.

The Welsh Government says it has made £15m available for the direct delivery food scheme.

The food boxes, which people request from their local authority, contain essential foods in packages and tins and will provide food for one person who is shielding for one week. They will be delivered weekly directly to people’s doors. If there are two eligible people shielding in the house, there will be two boxes.

A typical box will contain a range of items, such as UHT long life milk, tinned produce, pasta, toilet roll, breakfast cereal, some fruit and vegetables and bread.