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Photo credit: Pexels

Photo credit: Pexels

People aged over 70 years of age have been identified as being at greater risk from the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. There are 8.8 million people aged over 70 in the UK. They are being encouraged to protect themselves from infection by staying at home as much as possible for at least 12 weeks.

Many will have the money, family or social support to be able to get what they need to stay shielded for 12 weeks, including readily accessible, appropriate and nutritionally adequate food supplies.

Some will be in the group identified by the NHS and government as clinically extremely vulnerable, meaning that they have a medical condition that makes them eligible for weekly government food parcels.

However, we are deeply concerned that many older people - not included in the clinically extremely vulnerable group - will not have enough money or social support to be able to get the food they need to be able to stay at home. 

Read Sustain's blog: "British pensioners need meals on wheels to beat Covid-19",

It’s time to revitalise neglected meals on wheels services; and to redeploy professional cooks, chefs and restaurant staff. Let’s re-open the nation’s kitchens to prepare safe and nutritious meals for struggling pensioners and help them stay at home through months of Covid-19.

From March 2020, Sustain is consulting with a range of organisations at government, local authority, professional group and local level to find out what support is needed. We are looking at:

  • Models for appropriate cooked meal provision that could be supported by government, local authorities and voluntary groups
  • Evolution of the government food parcel scheme to meet specialist nutritional needs of clinically vulnerable groups

Sustain has also recently published materials on:

If you have information to share on this theme, please write to:

Coronavirus Food Alert: Sustain's work on food resilience in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.We are helping secure food for vulnerable people and supporting local emergency responses.

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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