Food Train Glasgow faces closure within weeks unless a new way can be found to finance its operations
Health and social care experts have called for a Glasgow charity to be saved, warning its closure would rob hundreds of older people of the basic right of food.
Almost 30 leading figures have signed an open letter to Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), urging it to step in with the funds to save Food Train’s city branch.
The letter also calls on Scottish Government ministers - including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, both Glasgow MSPs - to do everything they can to help identify the funding needed.
Signatories include Scottish Care chief executive Donald Mackaskill, Age Scotland chief executive Mark O’Donnell and Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance. Others are academics and organisation leaders in areas including food security and malnutrition.
Food Train Glasgow faces closure within weeks unless a new way can be found to finance its operations, which includes delivering food and meals to more than 400 older people.
It comes after Glasgow City Council - which has supported the service for the past decade - rejected the charity’s latest three-year funding application. It suggested that the HSCP would be better placed to provide that support, but its officials have so far indicated they have no funding available.
The letter states: “The peril that Food Train’s Glasgow branch now faces does not demonstrate a Scotland where people from every walk of life take pride and pleasure in, and benefit from, the food they produce, buy, cook, service and eat each day. Rather it shows an ignorance of the basic human right - and need - of food.
“Without Food Train, hundreds of older people across the city will not be able to access food in a way that prioritises choice and dignity. It will instead lead to an increase in food insecurity and malnutrition.”
The letter comes as a petition launched by Food Train - calling on the HSCP to find the funds to support its work - has reached more than 4,000 signatures.
Comments left on it include: “Without Food Train, how are these folk going to eat, shop and get much needed visitors? To remove funding from this, of all things, is just outrageous,” and “I know an elderly gentleman who uses this service who now doesn't know how he will get his shopping.”
You can read the full letter of support for Food Train Glasgow and see its complete list of 26 signatories here.
Sign the Save Glasgow Food Train From Closure petition at https://www.change.org/SaveGlasgowFoodTrain