Food supplies to be delivered with military precision

Military planners are helping Swindon Borough Council respond to the coronavirus crisis as part of the local authority’s #HereForSwindon campaign.

Published: Tuesday, 31st March 2020

Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Townsend and Staff Sergeant Alan Gray have been working with the Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing team to set up a new Community Resilience Hub, which will support vulnerable members of the community.

WO1 Townsend and SSgt Gray have been scenario planning with council officers to ensure the successful delivery of emergency food parcels to those that need them.

Over the weekend the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) delivered food supplies to the Council’s Civic campus and these will now be packaged up and sent to members of the community who have been forced to self-isolate following advice from the Government.

Over the weekend, 16 council officers from various teams volunteered to call 140 vulnerable Swindon residents who the Government has asked to shield for 12 weeks.

The Council will also put food parcels together for other residents who may be isolated in their homes with no support network to fall back on. This will include offering food boxes for £30, which will be delivered free of charge by volunteers. Additional bags of fruit and vegetables will also be available.

The logistics of the delivery service are still being finalised, but the Council is hoping to offer a same day delivery service if ordered before 1pm. Any orders placed after 1pm will be delivered the following day.

The food boxes are part of a series of local measures designed to help residents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

#HereForSwindon features 11 measures ranging from providing council tax relief and emergency household supplies for residents facing hardship from coronavirus through to its volunteering scheme, Compassionate Swindon, which will help people who have no one to turn to.

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We all have a part to play in looking after the most vulnerable people in Swindon. I am so proud of the council officers, the scores of volunteers who have come forward and the members of other agencies who have all pulled together in the last few days.

“The fact we have had to call on the help of the military to help us with the logistics around the food supplies tells you all you need to know about the scale of the operation. I would like to thank both Warrant Officer Townsend and Staff Sergeant Gray for their help at this difficult time.

“I must also say a special thank you to the various supermarkets for their very generous food donations they have made over the past week. It is gestures such as these which will go a long way to seeing us through this public health emergency.”

To find out more information about the Council’s food box scheme call 01793 445500 or email:

For further information about #HereForSwindon visit

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