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Changes to our Grocery Delivery Service

Ninety six percent of people referred to The Food Chain today are unable to provide food for themselves and their families. With the effectiveness of medication relying heavily on the interaction with food, a good nutritious diet is essential for people living with HIV who are trying to get or stay well.

In 2014 we expect to be helping upwards of 56 new people and their families every month. The Food Chain offers up to six weeks’ worth of groceries, utilising the online ordering systems of the major grocery stores. The logistical expertise of companies such as Tesco allows us to place orders for delivery to people’s homes at times that fit around their appointments with those who are helping them find long-term support.

It is important to us that when we promise to support someone for six weeks that we have the resources to do just that. Unfortunately with the increasing demand for support we were struggling to do this. So in order to provide a reliable source of good nutritious food for those who really need it we have made changes to the service.

From 1 January 2014 we have a new look to our grocery service. Our staff and volunteer, dietitians and nutritionists have put together a rolling rotation of three weeks’ of grocery shopping lists, and sample meal plans to go with them. One set is designed for people looking to increase their weight, and one for people looking to maintain or lose weight. The first and fourth weeks aim to replenish stock cupboards, taking advantage of the cheaper unit items of larger quantities for things like onions and oil, rice and pasta. The other weeks concentrate on fresh items and slowly filling the freezer. We will always aim to adjust the orders to meet cultural and medical dietary needs, as well as taking in to account available kitchen equipment such as fridges and cookers.

Having better control over the shopping we send means we can be sure of consistently providing people with a healthy balanced diet, it speeds up the service so we can contact more people and check that things are going well for them, and means we can make the best use of our money – your well received donations.