Foodservice wholesalers, Bidfood and Brakes, have joined forces to support a new government initiative to ensure that vital food supplies reach the country's most vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.
From today the initiative will see the two companies work together to deliver hundreds of weekly care packages across the country to people at high risk from the virus who are not able to get easy access to food during the crisis.
In a joint statement from CEOs, Hugo Mahoney (Brakes) and Andrew Selley (Bidfood), the companies confirmed their involvement: "During this national crisis, Bidfood and Brakes, the UK's largest wholesalers, have joined forces to deliver weekly food and essential supply boxes to many of the 1.5 million extremely vulnerable people in isolation.
"Moving at record pace, we have worked with government departments to create a service capable of reaching every corner of England through our national depot networks. Our security-checked, professional delivery drivers are hugely motivated and proud to be playing their part in serving their local communities in this fantastic endeavour."
The government's directive to temporarily close many foodservice outlets like pubs and restaurants means that both businesses are able to redirect some of their experienced teams to delivering care boxes across the country. Initial deliveries began over the weekend.
The parcels, which will be delivered to the doorstep, will contain more than 20 essentials including pasta, cereal, tea bags, fresh and tinned fruit, milk, bread and biscuits, as well as non-food items like toilet rolls and shower gel.
Since last Monday, 900,000 extremely vulnerable people received letters from the NHS giving them guidance on how to shield from coronavirus. In total up to 1.5 million will be asked to be shielded in this way. Others who did not receive letters but think they are part of this clinically vulnerable group should contact their GP.