Supermarket deliveries and free school meal vouchers aren’t cutting it
Consumer and disability rights groups have implored the government to revisit its coronavirus food distribution strategy, as concerns grow that vulnerable people are going hungry as systems fail to support need.
Consumer group Which?, best known for forensically scrutinising appliances, told the Guardian that over 1,000 people “who were either disabled, elderly or had illness that put them at risk of contracting Covid-19 and were having difficulties in getting grocery essentials.” This follows supermarket vouchers designed to replace free school meals inadvertently broadening food deserts, and U.K. food banks reporting precipitous peaks in uptake during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Supermarkets’ inability to cope with food delivery demand has been well publicised, with Tesco imploring customers to return to stores as soon as they could to alleviate the strain. The government, meanwhile, says it has delivered 900,000 food parcels via new and existing distribution networks in five weeks, but at 180,000 per week, that is some way short of the 1.5 million it identified as needing to shelter for 12 weeks in March. [Guardian]
And in other news:
- Gordon Ramsay says restaurants reopening after coronavirus will need to think as a new openings, not reopenings.
- Here’s an updated guide to where to buy food and wine in London.
- Byron Burger’s turbulent history continues, as its private equity owner seeks to auction the business off.
- Some of the U.K.’s most acclaimed “destination” restaurants are rural businesses that rely heavily on travel and tourism — and they’re concerned that the government’s response to novel coronavirus isn’t taking them into account. [Big Hospitality]
- Eater contributor Anna Sulan Masing interrogates the attitudes to spice on Great British Menu, following acclaimed London chef John Chantarasak’s appearance on the show. [Talking About Food]
- Good tweet:
On a tv screen somewhere in Thailand, the cookery show judge looks nervously at the camera.— Chiefs of Trip (@Chiefs_of_Trip) May 4, 2020
“I like the sound of the dish, but he hasn’t used any spices at all. I just worry about how bland it is going to be.”