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Glasgow Food Train volunteers respond to charity’s busiest-ever Christmas

Demand from older people to help them eat well and live well in their own homes remains high with many still reluctant to return to shops

Food Train volunteers across Glasgow are pulling out all the stops as they respond to their busiest ever Christmas.

The charity’s shoppers and delivery teams supporting older people across the city are now making more than 760 home deliveries every month, up from about 600 this time last year.

With more older people than ever expected to spend Christmas Day in their own homes this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, volunteers and staff are ensuring they have all the groceries they need to enjoy the festive season.

Those working across Glasgow have been praised for their efforts both now and throughout the year.

Chris Curtis, Food Train regional manager for Glasgow, said: “I can’t thank our volunteers enough for all that they’re doing to help older people eat well and live well in their own homes.

“Our services have never been needed more and the way they’ve responded to the demands we’ve faced this year has been tremendous. They’ve made a positive difference to the lives of older people in our region by ensuring they have not gone without essential shopping supplies.

“The need for our work is, of course, there all-year round. But, it’s nice to know that we’re doing our bit to help during the festive season – especially when it’s likely that more older people than ever will spend Christmas Day in their own homes this year, given the circumstances.”

Food Train provides vital support to help over-65s who are unable to manage independently, allowing them to eat well and live well in their own homes.

Nationally, it is also the charity’s busiest Christmas on record, with its teams collectively making 5,000 home deliveries every month – up from 3,400 this time last year.

Demand for services at the peak of the pandemic rose by 70% as huge numbers of older people began shielding at home to protect themselves.

Food Train chief executive Michelle Carruthers said: “So many of the older people who turned to us as coronavirus took hold in our communities have stayed.

“That’s partly down to the fact that they have come to enjoy having their shopping delivered directly to their homes and the social contact they have with our volunteers along the way.

“But, for a great many older people, the simple fact is that they still don’t feel safe going into shops and want to feel more confident before they return for themselves, which everyone can empathise with. We’re continuing to work really hard to meet that demand.”

To find out more about volunteering with Food Train, call 0141 423 1722 or go to www.thefoodtrain.co.uk/volunteer.

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