Food groceries, including bananas, herbs, eggs, can of corn, tea and eggs shown spread out

We have seen it before, panic buying and a shortage of supplies on supermarket shelves, especially toilet paper, as a COVID-19 lockdown is announced. Supermarkets introduced drastic new measures to address this, which included strict limits on item purchases per transaction, priority deliveries and restricted access times for Australians who are older or have a disability. We have the latest information, and tips on how to get your shopping.

Major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths have acted to address access and inclusion issues surrounding people with disability and older Australians getting what they need at this crucial time. Smaller and independent retailers may have similar schemes in place so please talk to your local grocers directly if it doesn’t appear below.

Skip to: Purchase Limits | Home Delivery | Back to Basics | Other options | Food Relief

Purchase Limits

Major supermarkets introduce buying limits when shortages may arise. Check the website of your supermarket retailer for the most up to date information.


Woolworths list current buying limits when relevant. These apply to in-store and online purchases, some limits are state-based and some may be nationwide from time to time. 


Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express and Coles Online order list purchase limits as well. Again, regional, state or national limits may apply depending on current restrictions and hotspots. 


Drakes also list product limits on their site as necessary too. 


When relevant, Aldi's product buying limits listed here.

Home Delivery

NDIS Participants

Last year, the NDIA worked with supermarket retailers to make sure NDIS participants who needed support to get their groceries, had priority access to home delivery services.

It meant that NDIS participants could purchase grocery items online to be delivered to their homes. This was achieved by the NDIA sending participants a unique home delivery access code by SMS or email they could use to access priority home delivery services. This scheme is no longer in place but may be introduced in the event of further lockdowns. 

More info: Priority home delivery service for NDIS participants

Coles Online Priority Service (COPS)

Coles Online has created COPS for their most vulnerable customers and is rolling it out as quickly as they can. This will mean that customers who can’t shop in-store can have groceries delivered to their home. A “Click & Collect” service option has also launched to help customers who live in regions where delivery services are not available. Carers, family and neighbours simply need to show the Click&Collect order confirmation when collecting the shopping on behalf of a COPS registered customer.

You may be eligible to access COPS if you have been issued a unique identification or access code by the organisations below:

  • National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS)
  • My Aged Care
  • Redkite - National Children's Cancer Support Organisation

To access the Coles Online Priority Service, register or log in to Coles Online and apply using the code provided by one of the abovementioned organisations. To find out more go to Coles Online Priority Service Information or check their easy Step by Step guide to online shopping here. 

Contactless Click&Collect and Home Delivery services

Coles have increased capacity in online shopping services. These services include contactless Click&Collect or Home Delivery options. For customers who have never shopped online with Coles before, they have a step-by-step guide and video to help you. 


Coles have partnered with Airtasker to provide same-day delivery of grocery shopping items where Airtaskers are available in your suburb. This is essentially a personal shopping service where an Airtasker will go to the supermarket, purchase items on your shopping list and deliver them to you. You will have to pay the Airtasker for their time on top of the cost of your groceries, however, so this option will not work for everyone. 

If you have an NDIS package, you may be able to use your funding to pay the Airtasker to get and bring your groceries to you. NDIS will not cover the cost of your groceries though, as these are an everyday expense not related to your disability. 

Go to Airtasker - Coles to order your groceries this way. If you want an Airtasker to go to somewhere other than Coles for you, then you can still Post a Task to Airtasker in the usual way. 

For more information go to 

Harris Farm Priority Home Delivery Service

To ensure vulnerable people in the community have quicker access to delivery services at this time, Harris Farm is providing a Priority Assistance service with dedicated 2-day delivery windows for 100 NDIS participants a day. To be eligible you must be an NDIS participant and live within the normal Harris Farm delivery areas (Metropolitan Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle Central and South Coasts and Canberra regions). The NDIS will give you a unique NDIS priority home delivery code.

Once you have your code, there are a few steps to take to get your groceries.

  1. Complete your shopping online for home delivery.
  2. When prompted at checkout enter your unique priority home delivery code.
  3. Submit your order.
  4. Wait for your delivery.

For more information, go to Harris Farm Priority Home Delivery Service. 

Woolworths Priority Assistance

To ensure vulnerable customers in the community have access to delivery services at this time, Woolworths is providing a Priority Assistance service with dedicated delivery windows. Eligible customers include seniors, people with a disability and those with compromised immunity or who are required to self-isolate.

To register for Priority Assistance you must register or log in to Woolworths Online, complete the Priority Assistance form and include any supporting documentation.


Foodworks Home Delivery

With over 220 stores around Australia now offering phone or email orders, you can stay home and Foodworks deliver your groceries to you. Simply enter your address on their site and see if a participating store can assist. Additionally, as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting communities, the NDIS, The Department of Veterans Affairs and My Aged Care has worked with participating Independent FoodWorks stores to make sure customers, who are unable to shop in their usual way, have priority access to home delivery services.

This means if you have an NDISMy Aged Care, or Veteran Gold Card Number you get priority to purchase essential grocery items online to be delivered to your home.

For general online shopping with Foodworks.

Back to Basics


The Woolworths Basics Box provides a few non-perishable meals, snacks and essential items like soap and toilet paper, for those in genuine need. Things like long-life milk, baked beans and tea bags. The "basics", essentially. 

It is only available online for delivery in NSW, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, SA and the South East Queensland Coast. Woolworths has partnered with Australia Post to ensure delivery to as many areas as possible.

Australia Post will deliver your Woolworths Basics Box within 2-5 business days in two separate boxes to make it easier to take inside.

It’s not perfect - it doesn’t include everything and is likely to be different from what you’d normally buy. You’re also not able to choose, switch or select the products and it is currently unable to cater for specific dietary requirements. The Woolworths Basics Box has been designed for those customers who are currently unable to visit the supermarket - the elderly, people with a disability, those with compromised immunity and people in mandatory isolation. By removing choice, Woolworths are able to distribute these basic or essential items to more vulnerable people.

Eligible customers over 60 or holders of an eligible concession card are able to buy the Woolworths Basics Box online. You will be asked to provide your details before checking out, if you are buying on behalf of someone in need, please provide their details. If you’re not over 60 or don’t hold an eligible concession card you will need to apply for Priority Assistance first, which may take up to 24 hours to process.

A limit of two (2) orders per customer, per fortnight, applies.

Order your Woolworths Basics Box from their website. Or If you need assistance with ordering online, you can order over the phone on 1800 904 698.


The Coles Community Box provides a few non-perishable meals, snacks and essential items like soap and toilet paper, for those in genuine need. Things like long-life milk, cereal, pasta and baked beans and tea bags. The "basics", essentially. This box, which has a similar list of everyday essentials to the Basics Box, will be available soon. 

By ruling out choice or customisation of these boxes, limiting the contents to non-perishable and long-life products, and working with Australia Post, both supermarket giants are able to offer these boxes to customers who normally live outside their usual delivery zones, such as people living in smaller, regional and rural communities. 

To find out more or if you are a COPS customer, to purchase a box, go to Coles Community Box or call Coles Online Shopping on 1800 455 400.

Harris Farm Express

Harris Farm delivers pre-packed boxes of seasonal or readily available groceries to suburbs surrounding their Sydney metro stores. Contents of the boxes will be ever-changing due to current stock and availability. You can order one or a combination of boxes and receive your items on your doorstep within two to three days. 

To find out more, or to see if Harris Farm Express is available in your area, go to Harris Farm Express or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The IGA Priority Shop packs are designed to support customers who are vulnerable or isolated and ensure all of those who are in genuine need in our community can receive the supplies they need. There are four pre-set packs available.

  • The Essentials – includes milk, bread, butter, eggs, cereal, toilet paper, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, soup
  • Pantry Plus – includes The Essentials Pack items plus tea bags, instant coffee, cheese, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, red meat, chicken and/or pork, chocolate block, sweet biscuits, a frozen meal for one, long-life juice, canned seafood, tissues, toothpaste, soap bar
  • Dog Pack – wet dog food, dry dog food
  • Cat Pack – wet cat food, dry cat food

These packs are delivered to your door for a small fee. Only people in genuine need can receive these packs, including people with disability, people over the age of 70, people with respiratory or chronic illnesses and those with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or in mandatory self-isolation due to exposure to COVID-19. Carers, family or friends can order packs on behalf of those in need, as long as proof of eligibility is provided and also confirmation of the order from the recipient.  If you have dietary requirements such as gluten-free, nut-free etc. contact your local IGA when they confirm your order. They will try to find alternatives wherever possible, but cannot guarantee substitution based on the current stock demands.

To find out more go to IGA Priority Shop or phone 1800 018 384

Other options

There are plenty of other home grocery and meal delivery options you might like to try if your usual grocery run is currently out of the question. If you are an NDIS participant, you may be able to get some of the cost of your meal prep and/or delivery funded by your NDIS package, but not the cost of the food itself. 

  • Hello Fresh - delivers DIY meals - portioned ingredients and step by step recipes to follow. 
  • Youfoodz - delivers ready-made meals and fresh produce boxes.
  • Kinela (previously Hit100) - delivers healthy home-delivered meals for people with disability and chronic health conditions. 
  • Nourished - Registered NDIS provider which home delivers fresh, healthy and gluten-free meals. 

Food Relief

In South Australia, food relief is available through the Department of Human Services Emergency Financial Assistance Program this entails food vouchers, parcels or referral to Foodbank. You can find your regional contact through Help with food and other basics or call the COVID-19 Relief Call Centre is available to help between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm every day. Phone 1300 705 336

For Victorian's a coronavirus food relief package is a free service for people who have to self-isolate because they have coronavirus. A package may also be available for people who cannot get help from family or friends. 

A relief package can include food and personal items. If you need a relief package, call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. The relief packages will be provided at no cost.

pdfCoronavirus Emergency relief packages Easy Read version

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