Post date: 
Thursday, 11 June 2020
Photo of an isle in a supermarket

For people with sight loss who are struggling to get essential groceries, here are a few ways we can help you to get shopping delivered.

Since lockdown began, thousands of blind and partially sighted people have told us that they are concerned about access to food. Shopping in supermarkets or securing online delivery slots is an ongoing and significant challenge. We wanted to update you on the support available and our work with the Government and supermarkets to improve the situation.

Support through our Helpline

You can now call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected] if you, or someone you know, has difficulty shopping for essential supplies. Our advisers can provide the latest information and can connect you to sources of local support.

We now have agreements in place which mean that our Helpline advisers may be able to refer people who are eligible to Tesco or Iceland for priority online delivery slots in England. This is particularly for people who are unable to access food and have no local family or friends who can help them shop. If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, we can advise on other ways to get food and grocery shopping.

Food Shop trial

We've been working with Brakes Wholesale, the country’s largest provider of food to restaurants and pubs, which has recently launched Brakes Food Shop, an online grocery service. To support shoppers with sight loss, they've set up dedicated phone line 0344 873 8558 to answer queries and take grocery orders. This service is being piloted in Essex and Hertfordshire before being extended across other locations from Monday 15 June. Find out more about the service.

Further information

You can find information on what major supermarkets are doing to help you access shopping on our essential supermarket round-up.