Food shopping habits changed significantly during the pandemic.
Many large supermarkets were overwhelmed with increased demand from people bulk buying- there were huge queues, and long waiting lists for home deliveries, so many people supported local shops,which they were surprised to find were often fully stocked. Many food and drink businesses started home deliveries to adapt and survive.
Traditional food provision projects for people experiencing homelessness involve large gatherings (soup kitchen style) and these were no longer safe. Many homeless people in Bristol were provided with regular meals from organisations such as Cheers Drive (run by Caring in Bristol), who delivered contactless restaurant quality meals to rough sleepers who had been temporarily accommodated in hotels and hostels.
With many people experiencing poverty, for a variety of reasons, food banks experienced an increased demand. Referrals came from Citizens Advice, children’s centres and health visitors.
In many areas, a sense of community was strengthened with people shopping for friends, family and neighbours, especially those that were vulnerable and shielding.
Hot food deliveries, often ordered through an app such as Deliveroo, continued throughout most of Lockdown, with drivers classed as frontline workers. They collected food from restaurants to deliver to people's homes.
As food shops and restaurants started to re-open, many adapted with services like Click and Collect or takeaways, served through hatches.