Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding support and contacts

Details of shielding support for vulnerable people to arrange for food and medicine deliveries, and other support services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding support and contacts
Food and essential supplies

Food and essential supplies

Food and essential supplies deliveries

If you buy online, or have someone who’s able to get the food and household items you need, you should carry on getting things in this way.

If you’re not able to get these things, we can send you free grocery packs. You can order this through the SMS Shielding Service or your local authority helpline. Brakes & Bidfood have been contracted by the Scottish Government to provide these boxes. The box will contain a letter from the Scottish Government. These will include (subject to availability):

  • Coffee
  • Tea bags
  • Biscuits
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Baked Beans
  • Soups
  • Pasta
  • Rice / Cous Cous/ Noodles
  • Fruit 1
  • Fruit 2
  • Shower Gel
  • Semi-skimmed UHT MILK.
  • Cooking Sauce - jar
  • Pre potato (whole, washed)
  • Tinned Meat
  • Tuna
  • Vegetables (peas probably)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Tinned fruit
  • Toilet roll

If you require period products, please contact your local authority helpline. Alternatively, you can purchase these products alongside your grocery shopping by using the priority supermarket delivery slots. More information on the supermarket delivery slots can be found below.

Cost of deliveries

The basic food boxes are free, and there is no delivery charge.

Choice of products

You will receive a standard food and essential supplies box. If you are not able to eat some of the food supplied and feel that the remaining contents of the package are not enough to feed you for one week, then please contact your local authority helpline, who will support you. 

How to order

Once you are registered with the SMS Shielding Service, you can order a weekly grocery box  by sending the service a text that says 1BOX.

If you and someone else in your household both need a grocery pack, text 2BOX to order 2 boxes (they will be delivered on the same day as each other). Only one of you needs to send this 2BOX text.

Delivery process

Your food and essential supplies will be delivered by an approved delivery driver who will leave your order on your door step and step away, to avoid any unnecessary contact.

If you’ve asked to get a weekly grocery pack, it may take up to a week to reach you. After this, deliveries will be made once a week on the same day every week. Delivery times are between 6am - 10pm. 

If no-one answers the door, the delivery driver will leave the food on your doorstep with a calling card letting you know they have been.

Your delivery driver will strictly adhere to the shielding guidance so will not be able to enter your home. If you require assistance to bring your delivery into your home and to put your food away, and any other support is unavailable, please contact your local authority helpline. 

If you cannot lift the box to bring it in from outside, you may need to bring items inside a few at a time. You can also call your local authority’s helpline to see if they can help you bring your pack inside. 

If the address you’re living at is different to the one on the letter

If you want your grocery pack delivered to an address that isn’t the same as the one on this letter, you need to contact your local authority’s helpline to give them your new address.

Frequency of deliveries

Once Brakes and Bidfood receive the request, your first box can take up to a week to  be delivered, so do not wait to order once you have run out if food.

After your first delivery, you will automatically receive your food and essential supplies box once a week on the same day, until you stop the service, so you do not need to order again.

Deliveries will continue on Bank Holidays.

Stopping food deliveries

You do not have to register for this service if you do not need it.

If your circumstances change and you find you no longer need this service, you can text STOPBOX to the SMS Shielding Service, or contact your local authority helpline.

Text 1BOX or 2BOX  at any time to start the service again, or contact your local authority helpline.

Coronavirus symptoms impact on deliveries

You will still receive your deliveries if you or a member of your household develops coronavirus symptoms or tests positive for the virus. Your delivery is a doorstep delivery so you will have no contact with your delivery driver.

If you or a member of your household are admitted to hospital, deliveries will continue to your household.

Urgent support with food and/or prescriptions

If you require urgent support with food and/or prescriptions please contact your local authority helpline who will be able to help you.

Online orders from supermarkets

To make it easier for you to get deliveries, we’ve arranged for you to have access to priority delivery slots from six supermarket chains in Scotland:

  • Asda
  • Tesco
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury's
  • Iceland
  • Waitrose

How priority delivery slots work

After you’ve joined the SMS Shielding Service, you’ll be sent a text asking you whether we can share your details with these supermarkets. We need to share your details with these supermarkets so that they can get in touch with you about priority delivery slots.

If you confirm we can share your details, and you’re already signed up as an online customer with one of these supermarkets, they’ll get in touch with you by email.

If you’re not signed up as a customer with any of these supermarkets, we’ll send you a text to let you know how to sign up with a supermarket that can deliver in your area.

If you cannot join the SMS Shielding Service and want a priority delivery slot, you can get help by calling 0800 111 4000. This number is free and open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

Being given priority should make it easier for you to get a slot at the time you want, but we cannot guarantee you’ll always get your preferred slot.

If your child is shielding, you’re their parent or guardian and you confirm you want a priority delivery slot, your details will be shared with supermarkets rather than your child’s so that you can get access to these slots.