A pioneering scheme aimed at helping the most vulnerable people in the community has been rolled out across four areas by Central England Co-op.
Special community hubs have been created at food stores in Derby, Burton, Stafford and Lichfield with the help of local councils in effort to identify and support local people in need.
Council workers then gather orders and pass them onto Central England Co-op colleagues who create a package and take payment from the customer over the phone before the local council deliver the goods.
The schemes, which have only been in place for a matter of weeks, have already helped over 250 people.
The project is part of plan to create similar projects based out of Central England Co-op community hub stores across the 16 counties it trades in and even farther afield on a national scale.
Debbie Robinson, chief executive of Central England Co-op, said: “Co-operation is key to our communities coming together during this uncertain time and this is why we have linked up with local councils in four areas to launch this pioneering scheme during this uncertain time.
“This unique project will see the councils contact vulnerable people in the community and work with us to deliver food and essentials to them.
“This is a great example of communities and organisations coming together at a time of need and creating a solution that will make a difference.
“We have further plans in place to rapidly roll out this out across other locations to make sure we support as many people as we can in the coming weeks.”
East Staffordshire Borough Councillor Duncan Goodfellow said: “It is essential that organisations that can provide support come together to ensure that those people most at risk are cared for in the best way possible.
“I am proud that East Staffordshire Borough Council has joined forces with Central England Co-op to deliver this ground-breaking provision in Burton.
“This service will ensure that the most vulnerable people in our communities are able to get the vital food and essentials they need during these unprecedented times.”