EMERGENCY food supplies provided automatically to people on the government’s 'shielding' list during the Covid-19 crisis can be re-provided to those who need it more under a service being provided by Age UK Wirral.

A spokesperson for the charity said a number of people on that list – people with underlying health issues who have been identified as being most at risk of developing serious problems if they contract the virus – have financial means and / or alternative arrangements in place for getting essential supplies, which means they do not need the parcels provided by the government.

People are being advised not to request to be taken off the government’s list for these parcels as that could impact on the priority status they have to access other help, such as online supermarket deliveries.

So they should keep taking deliveries of the parcels and then call Age UK Wirral, who have a team of around 100 volunteers who are on standby to collect them – safely distanced – and take them to the Emergency Food Hub.

The Hub is operated by Wirral Council and other partners and these items will then be added to the parcels provided from there for the most vulnerable and in-need residents.

Jenny Paton, deputy chief executive of Age UK Wirral, said: "We are proud to play a part in the amazing efforts going into looking after residents during these unprecedented times.

"When the issue was noticed about some residents not needing the government's emergency food supplies, but wanting to donate it to a family that needs it more, we saw an opportunity for Age UK Wirral to provide this service and our volunteers are out and about delivering this every day."

Richard Roberts, Manager of Wirral Foodbank, added: "It is especially important that anyone that does want to donate their unwanted food uses the Age UK Wirral collection service and doesn't try to donate it at Wirral Foodbank or the Emergency Food Hub directly.

"Neither of those locations can accept unsolicited donations directly at this time, though we are still taking donations at some major supermarkets and financial donations online."

To find out how you can donate your government-provided food parcel, call Age UK Wirral on 0151 482 3456.