Brakes makes food delivery easier for blind & partially sighted people

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is now able to make food shopping easier for blind and partially sighted people in Essex and Hertfordshire, by referring customers to a new home delivery service from leading wholesaler Brakes.

Social distancing is near-impossible for many blind and partially sighted people which makes it difficult to go out and get food or other essentials and navigate safely around supermarkets. Limitations on access to online shopping has also meant that people with sight loss have been excluded from priority slots – putting thousands of people in an impossible situation.

The Home delivery service from Brakes, will enable blind and partially sighted people to receive home deliveries and access 150 core products specifically selected by Brakes, which are comparable to products that consumers would find in their local supermarket.

The easy-to-shop range includes fresh produce, meat, dairy, bakery, ready prepared meals, snacks, drinks, and essential store cupboard items – all in large packs that go further and last longer.

To support the service, Brakes has created a dedicated hotline number, 0344 873 8558, which will connect the caller to a member of its helpful customer care team who will guide them through placing their order, take their payment and arrange a convenient delivery day with them. Lines are open between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.

Once ordered, the items will be delivered directly to the customer’s door by one of Brakes’ friendly drivers – all of whom have been trained in the correct social distancing practices and understand the impact of these guidelines on blind and partially sighted people. Delivery will be made any time between 8am and 7pm.

Brakes is also offering a selection of fresh fruit, vegetable, and salad items, all handily boxed up for convenience. The veg buffet box contains a mixture of five fresh vegetable items including broccoli, onions, and potatoes. The fruit buffet box consists of five fresh fruit items including bananas, grapes, and apples, whilst the salad box is made up of five fresh salad items including lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes.

There is no charge for the home delivery service but there is a minimum order value of £75, a maximum of £1000, and customers can order no more than five of any one product.

David Clarke, RNIB Director of Services, said, “It’s been great collaborating with Brakes to find a solution to the issues blind and partially sighted people have had in accessing food during lockdown. With online delivery slots difficult to secure and issues faced around social distancing, it makes it difficult for customers with sight loss to get the food they want.

'With half as many blind and partially sighted people now shopping independently compared to before the lockdown, we are delighted that Brakes are able to offer this online priority service.”

The collaboration with RNIB is one of many initiatives that Brakes is actively involved in. As part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis it has already delivered nearly one million food boxes to those who are vulnerable or shielding and continues to support charitable organisations at both a national and local level.

In addition, Meals & More, the charity it set up to combat holiday hunger amongst children, has also stepped up its support over the past two months.