SHROPSHIRE Council has started a scheme of providing food parcels to vulnerable people and who don't have family or friends, who are currently in self-isolation.

The scheme is in response to the government letter sent to those who have been advised to be 'shielding' from the coronavirus.

Shropshire Council is working to support these people, who because they are being shielded, cannot get out to go shopping.

This will include putting people in touch with local organisations that will help them, as well as providing food where it is needed.

Food parcels are starting to be delivered to people this week; and more food parcels will continue over the next few weeks, to ensure they continue regularly to reach everyone on the government's list.

The food parcels will also be delivered to others who have been identified as needing support, outside of being on the shielding list of the most vulnerable.

Member of staff Pete Banford, who has been out in the community delivering food parcels to the most vulnerable who are shielding, said people were grateful to receive the parcels.

"First 10 boxes delivered. It's quite an experience delivering the food," said Pete. "People were so grateful and some genuinely scared for obvious reasons, to open their doors.

"However, seeing how grateful people are is something that all involved in this should see."

Shropshire Council are asking anyone who have either received the government's letter about being identified as one of the 'most vulnerable who should be shielded', or anyone else who is in need of support and cannot get access to food, to call the coronavirus helpline on 0345 678 9028.

Advisers will be able to ensure that people who are shielding are receiving the support they need over the coming 12 weeks and onwards.

Andy Begley and Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council's acting interim chief executives, added: "We urge those who have received their letter from the government and NHS to contact our coronavirus helpline.

"The first food drops have begun, and are continuing this week, and we thank those teams who are making this happen.

"Those involved are working with food suppliers to create an ongoing, manageable service to keep our vulnerable residents supplied.

"Throughout last weekend staff from Shropshire Council have been working to identify those in need, create hubs, create distribution networks, and making the wide range of other efforts required to distribute food to such an enormous county in such a short space of time: an incredible effort by all."