Food Train will continue to provide vital support to communities throughout the festive period
Volunteers at Food Train are in the midst of their busiest Christmas on record as they meet continued massive demand to help older people across Scotland.
Nationally, its army of shoppers and delivery teams are now making about 5,300 home deliveries every month - up from 3,400 this time last year.
That near 56% increase comes amid a year where Food Train's services have never been needed more due the consequences of Covid-19.
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.
And it has remained high in the months that have followed, leading to the busiest festive season for volunteers and staff in the charity's 25-year history.
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.”
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.
Carruthers added: “I’m so grateful to our volunteers who are working so hard to ensure older people have all of the supplies they need to enjoy the best Christmas they can.
“We believe more older people than ever will have Christmas Day in their own homes this year, so we want to make sure we play our part to ensure they have all they need.
“Our teams across the country do a tremendous job all year round but this Christmas it feels more important than ever to help our older members.”
Food Train has about 2,500 volunteers supporting its members and staff across Dumfries & Galloway, West Lothian, Stirling, Dundee, Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Clackmannanshire and the Scottish Borders.