Individuals shielding receiving food boxes during lockdown: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

The following, broken down by month since the start of lockdown, starting from April 2020:
1. How many individuals were receiving Scottish Government food boxes?
2. How many of the above individuals were officially shielding?
3. How many individuals were eligible for a food box but did not receive one?
4. How many food boxes were not distributed after being collated?


The number of people who were shielding and who were requesting and receiving boxes over the period 3 April to 31 July 2020 changed daily and cannot therefore be provided on a monthly basis. We have therefore provided figures relevant to the final day of each month but also monthly totals for boxes that were packed and delivered or not. Only those shielding were eligible to apply for grocery boxes. 

The discrepancy between the number of people registered for free grocery boxes, and the number of boxes requested, is because people who were shielding were able to request more than one box, if they had dependents or others in their household, who were also not able to leave the house to buy groceries.

  30-Apr 31-May 30-Jun 31-Jul
Number of people shielding (as at this date) 170,911 179,728 181,075 180,228
Number of people shielding who were registered for grocery boxes (as at this date) 43,713 50,022 50,768 35,858
Number of grocery boxes being requested per week (as at this date) 61,798 71,438 70,014 48,948
Number of people shielding who were not requesting a grocery box (as at this date) 127,198 129,706 130,307 144,370
  3-30 April 1-31 May 1-30 June 1-31 July
Number of boxes packed but rejected or not delivered due to access problem or other delivery failure 1,836 3,607 2,362 1,770

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top