This paper is part of the N8 AgriFood Collection for Emerald Open Research, written by Dr Madeleine Power, Prof Bob Doherty, Dr Katie Pybus and Prof Kate Pickett, University of York. It draws upon their perspective to comment, in the early stages of the pandemic and associated lockdown, on the empirical and ethical implications of COVID-19 for socio-economic inequalities in access to food in the UK.