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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

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Glasgow charity warns of imminent closure

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Food Train's branch in the city has said it could be forced to shut in just 10 weeks.

A Glasgow charity has warned it could be forced to shut in the next three months unless a decision to axe council funding can be reversed. 

Glasgow Food Train provides weekly deliveries of fresh groceries to older people experiencing difficulties doing their weekly grocery shopping, ensuring they can eat well. 

At present, any older person aged 65 and over living in Glasgow who has difficulty in doing their grocery shopping due to ill health, disability, frailty or mobility problems can enjoy the benefits of their local Food Train.

Around 400 people are supported by the charity every year in Glasgow.

Food Train’s operations across the city, based at Govanhill, have been supported by Glasgow City Council for the past decade.

But its application for funding of £447,000 over the next three years is on a list of funding bids that members of the City Administration Committee are being recommended to refuse.

The charity only found out the news on Tuesday - less than 48 hours before the meeting.

In a statement posted on social media, the charity wrote: “We are devastated to learn that our Glasgow branch of Food Train that has delivered lifeline shopping supplies to hundreds of older people across Glasgow for 10 years, faces closure after council officials recommended its funding be axed.

“We are calling on councillors to overrule the recommendation to stop supporting our shopping, household support and befriending services across the city when they meet on Thursday (January 12th).

“Without their backing, the Glasgow branch will close within 10 weeks - removing critical support for over-65s already struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

“The lives of those we support will worsen as a result of its closure - as well as leading to the loss of 4 jobs.”

The charity has received significant support online, and continues to put pressure on councillors ahead of this week’s meeting. 

Food Train chief executive Michelle Carruthers said: “This is a scandalous recommendation - one which will put significant numbers of older people across Glasgow in danger of becoming malnourished and seriously ill if it’s carried through.

“To recommend pulling the plug completely on our funding has shocked everyone, particularly when keeping older people well at home is such a priority. To close a vital social support service when the NHS and social care is under huge strain, makes no sense.

“To be hit with this bolt out of the blue less than two days before councillors consider the recommendation is alarming. Hundreds of older people across the whole city will be left without food.

“We’re talking about peoples’ lives. The lives of the older people we support, the lives of the people we employ and the work of the volunteers who work so incredibly hard to make what we do possible. It’s a complete kick in the teeth.

“Our volunteers and staff were there for record numbers of people across Glasgow when they needed us most. Now we are asking councillors to be there for us.

“Please, let good sense prevail and help us to ensure we can continue to be there to ensure older people across Glasgow get the services and support they deserve. If we’re not there, their lives will become more difficult.”