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Essentials boxes for thousands of vulnerable roll out

Helping hand: Robert Jenrick helps with deliveries in Kent PICTURES: GARETH FULLER/PA

FOOD parcels have begun arriving at the doors of the country’s most vulnerable people — in one of the biggest support operations since World War II.

The first 2,000 packages were delivered over the weekend to those who cannot leave their homes due to severe health conditions putting them at greater risk from coronavirus.

More than 50,000 deliveries are expected this week — but this could rise to hundreds of thousands. The packages, given to those self-isolating without support from family or friends, contain essentials such as toilet roll, pasta, fruit and tinned foods.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick joined a delivery in Paddock Wood, Kent. ‘This weekend sees the start of extraordinary steps to support the most clinically vulnerable while they shield from coronavirus,’ he said.

‘We will support these people at this difficult time, and the scale of an operation like that has not been seen since the Second World War.’

Some 1.5million people are being asked to shield themselves.