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View the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus. Find out about new measures at recycling centres and check waiting times

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Emergency food supplies

We're working with district and borough councils and local voluntary organisations, to supply food to vulnerable individuals and households.


The groups include:

  • shielding recommended – those people advised by the NHS to 'shield', and with no support network available to shop on their behalf
  • stringent social distancing recommended – those people with underlying health conditions or aged over 70 who have been advised by government to minimise social contact, and with no support network available to shop on their behalf
  • socially isolated – people and households who are required to socially isolate for a period of 7 or 14 days due to having symptoms of coronavirus, and with no support network available to shop on their behalf
  • financial hardship – those individuals experiencing financial hardship and therefore unable to buy food
  • children eligible for free school meals – children who meet the eligibility criteria for receiving free school meals (this does not include the universal school meal offer provided to all reception, year 1 and year 2 children)

Shielding recommended

There are an estimated 11,000 people in Derbyshire who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, due to an underlying health condition. These individuals have been written to by the NHS and have been strongly recommended to shield, that is to take steps to minimise all social contact between themselves and others.

A national scheme is being established to deliver food parcels to the houses of individuals in this group free of charge. We have received a delivery of food to support individuals in the short-term, while the national scheme is being established. We're working with district and borough councils in Derbyshire and voluntary sector organisations to deliver food parcels to people identified as not yet having received a delivery through the national scheme.

People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
  2. People with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

Stringent social distancing required

The government is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. Individuals in this group who do not have a social support network available to purchase food supplies for them can request support through our Community Response Unit.

We've bought food to provide food parcels for this group. Food parcels are packed centrally and delivered to individuals’ houses in conjunction with district and borough councils and voluntary sector organisations. Individuals with means to pay will be invoiced £25 per parcel at a later date. The contents of the boxes are generic and provide food for one person for a week.

People falling into this vulnerable group include those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
    • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, 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 have 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 seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • those who are pregnant

Socially isolated

Individuals with symptoms of coronavirus (a persistent new cough or an elevated temperature), and anyone else living in their household, are required to self-isolate for 14 days following the start of symptoms. Individuals living on their own are required to self-isolate for 7 days following the start of symptoms. Individuals in this group who do not have any other social support network available to purchase food supplies for them can request support through our Community Response Unit.

We've bought food to provide food parcels for this group. Food parcels are packed centrally and delivered to individuals’ houses in conjunction with district and borough councils and voluntary sector organisations. Individuals with means to pay will be invoiced £25 per parcel at a later date. The contents of the boxes are generic and provide food for one person for a week.

Financial hardship

People who are experiencing financial hardship and don't have the means to buy food can request support through our Community Response Unit.

The Derbyshire Discretionary Fund can provide emergency cash vouchers to Derbyshire residents, including for support in buying food. Or there is a network of food banks across Derbyshire that can provide food parcels to people in financial hardship.

Children eligible for free school meals

Schools remain responsible for providing free school meals to those children that are eligible to receive them, even where the school is closed or the child is not attending school due to social distancing or social isolation requirements. During the response to coronavirus, schools have been asked to provide free school meals during the Easter holiday period, as well as during term-time. Schools are taking different approaches across Derbyshire to providing free school meals. Parent and carers of eligible children should contact their school to find out the arrangements in place.

Parent and carers can still register their children for free school meals if they meet the eligibility criteria.