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Food and drink

Ways to make your life easier and safer when eating and preparing food, and how to get support through food parcels if you are struggling.

Help with eating and drinking

Here are some things you can do straight away:

  • Ensure that where you eat is set up well for you. Your dining chair should be supportive and allow you to sit in a comfortable and upright position.
  • A regular routine with familiar placement of items such as a napkin, salt, pepper and drink may help if you have memory problems. Eating a meal in quiet surroundings with minimal distraction can also help.
  • Specially designed cutlery or crockery can help if you have difficulty using standard items.
  • If you have trouble cutting food, a casserole might be easier to eat. Thicker sauces and soups are less likely to be spilled and can help keep food in place.
  • Using plates or bowls with high sides or a plateguard can help prevent food being spilled.
  • Cups and mugs with lids will help prevent drink spills. And ones with large handles allow you to use your whole hand to grip the handle, or put your whole hand through it for a better hold.

AskSARA gives advice about equipment to help make daily living easier. Visit the CarersUK website to use AskSARA.

Help preparing food

There is equipment that can help you prepare food.

Here are some things you can do straight away:

  • Use scissors or kitchen shears to food.
  • Coloured chopping boards give contrast to the food on them which may help you if you have low vision.
  • Pre-sliced, chopped or frozen food can be a good alternative to fresh food.
  • Consider whether you can avoid having to peel food by cooking potatoes and vegetables in their skins.
  • Put the items you use every day within easy reach, to avoid having to stretch or stand on stools.
  • Ensure that your cooker is at the right height for you so you don't have to stretch over hot items.

Shopping for food

Everyone's unique and has different reasons why shopping for food may be difficult. It could be that you’re unable to drive, can't carry your shopping bags, get tired walking or can't see the food labels because you’re visually impaired.

Here are some options to help you:

  • Consider using supermarket online shopping.
  • Ask the customer service desk at the supermarket for assistance.
  • Some supermarkets offer a delivery service for people who shop in store. Check with your local supermarket if they offer this. There may be minimum spends or delivery charges.
  • If travelling to the supermarket is difficult, see if a family member or friend is able to take you with them when they go.
  • Use your Attendance Allowance to pay for a taxi.
  • Check if there’s a food van in your area.
  • Use Shopmobility Waltham Forest to help you get around your local shops.

Food banks

Foodbanks are non-profit making organisations that give food parcels to those in crisis who don’t have enough money to buy food themselves.

The Trussell Trust foodbank provide three days of emergency food and support.

Each food parcel contains nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food. Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food. There are also 'supermarket collections' where shoppers can donate items from their shopping basket.

Every referral to a Trussell Trust foodbank is made by frontline care professionals, such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, welfare officers, the police and probation officers. They will identify that a person is in crisis and will issue a food voucher. If you have a concern about a resident, they need to have a referral from one of these agencies to be able to access the foodbank.

Local food banks

Another option is to contact one of the borough’s many community food organisations. These friendly local food hubs can help you access free or affordable food. The Council has recently worked closely with these five.