Government pauses shielding programme in Leicester

A food bank helping the extremely vulnerable people in Leicester during the Coronavirus pandemic has been paused this week.

This follows the government’s announcement that people in the city who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer have to shield.

Since the country went into lockdown in March, Leicester City Council has been running its emergency food operation from De Montfort Hall. Staff who have been unable to do their usual jobs have helped to set up and run the new service.

The food bank has helped thousands of people and their families who have been shielding since the beginning of the pandemic.

With the ending of shielding restrictions, the food packages will no longer be provided. The council made their final deliveries on Friday.

Since the service began, the city council has delivered nearly 21,000 food parcels to more than 12,000 residents in 6,000 different households.

The parcels included 78,000 tins of beans, 49,000 tins of fish, 29 tonnes of rice, 21,000 loaves of bread, 87,000 pints of milk, 41 tonnes of fresh fruit and 91 tonnes of fresh vegetables.

Leicester’s emergency food provision was supported by £3.7m of hardship funding from the Government.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “I’d like to thank all the city council staff who worked so hard to make sure that no one in Leicester went without food or other essential items when they had no other way to get hold of supplies.”

“Over the past six months, these food parcels have supported thousands of elderly people and vulnerable families as they shielded from the virus, helping to make life a little bit easier for them during such a difficult time.”

“And although the Government has now paused the formal shielding programme, anyone who finds themselves in genuine crisis can still contact us on our dedicated crisis support email address, which will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.”

The city council’s dedicated crisis support email address can still be used by anyone who finds themselves in an immediate and unexpected crisis situation.