Coronavirus and M.E./CFS
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Support with shopping

Support with shopping

We have produced a shopping support resource to share with supermarket staff, highlighting that, as someone with a chronic neurological condition and at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus, you need access to priority shopping times.

Please also consider getting a sunflower lanyard which shows supermarkets you need extra support.

A website called Shopping Slot has been set up to help you search for delivery slots for all mainstream stores at once, using your postcode.


Local delivery options

Our supporters have been telling us about the following possible alternatives. Please email us if you have further suggestions we can add. Your local mutual aid group might also be able to help.

  • Gourmade delivers ready-prepared meals. Tel: 0845 2411 568
  • Good Eats lists local producers and restaurants doing delivery and offering collection.
  • Good Sixty allows you to shop locally across multiple outlets, for delivery or collection
  • Kcal Kitchen deliver groceries and custom ready meals
  • Bee Delivery says it will “connect you to independent delivery drivers who will deliver what you need to your door.”
  • We have had the following confirmation from Cook (on Friday 9 April) re its delivery service: "We are asking that only priority customers order - those that are vulnerable, elderly or work for the NHS. We are not making a list and you do not need people prove that you fall within an at risk category. We are trusting our customers to be honest. I would definitely say that [this includes] customers with M.E., especially if they are bed or house bound fall within a vulnerable category. Wishing you all the best in these challenging times." You can contact Cook on 01732 759020.
  • The Co-op now offers home delivery in selected areas around the UK; selected stores can also offer to take shopping you buy in store to your home for you (free when you spend £25 or more).

Taking action

On Friday 27 March, we wrote a letter to the UK Government and major supermarket chains, signed by members of Forward-ME and the All Party Parliamentary Group for M.E. We highlighted the immediate challenge faced by people with M.E. in accessing food and essential supplies, and asked for immediate action. We received responses from Tesco, Iceland and Marks & Spencer and have given a summary of each response below.

We put pressure on the Government to update this list and make provisions for people with M.E. and others with medical conditions that leave them housebound.


Tesco

They are looking into increasing the number of delivery slots which are available and recruiting more drivers. As they increase capacity they will look to set aside more slots for their most vulnerable customers. They will identify these vulnerable people by using the list provided by the Government. They are also asking customers to ‘think before they click’ so those who are able to come to the store do so. They have introduced a priority shopping hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am. They participate in the Sunflower Lanyard scheme and anyone visiting their stores with an invisible illness can pick one of these up from their customer service desks. This will enable colleagues to know you may require extra assistance.

Marks & Spencer

Have offered assurance that people with M.E./CFS are entitled to visit the store during dedicated times for vulnerable people. They are happy for people to use our shopping support resource or a copy of their response to our letter (see above) if they are concerned about colleagues challenging them.

Iceland

They are working to reserve all online delivery slots for the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating. Their website now has a pop-up asking people to confirm they fall into one of these categories before placing an order. They have confirmed that people with M.E./CFS are eligible for this. They are also looking to increase the number of delivery slots that are available. Many of their stores do have times where vulnerable people can shop and they are happy for people to take with them our shopping support resource, if they are concerned about colleagues challenging them.