Lifeline grocery service facing closure after council funding axed

The Glasgow Food Train helps hundreds of elderly people across the city, but could close within months.

Food Train: Lifeline grocery service for elderly faces closure after Glasgow Council funding axed iStock

A Glasgow charity which helps deliver groceries to the elderly and disabled faces closure after losing out on council funding.

Food Train provides vital services and befriending to vulnerable older people across Scotland by helping with shopping, household jobs and making meals.

The charity was founded in 1995 and makes hundreds of grocery deliveries across Scotland every week.

Its Glasgow branch, which helps 400 people across the city, is set to close within ten weeks, leading to the loss of four jobs.

Charity chiefs are calling upon Glasgow councillors to reverse the decision.

A statement read: “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 ten 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.

“Without their backing, the Glasgow branch will close within ten 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.”

The local authority’s Glasgow Communities Fund received 445 applications from the city’s third sector – with a 90.4% increase in grant funding requested in comparison with 2022/2023.

They said applications were subject to an intensive review and those who were unsuccessful will be able to receive feedback and support.

The charity will no longer benefit from council community funding.iStock

Councillor Christina Cannon, the city’s education convener, said: “This has been a comprehensive, robust, open and transparent process that has resulted in £50m of grant funding being distributed to 235 organisations across the city to help our citizens and communities most in need.

“This is a huge investment in the third sector and organisations who will deliver a variety of support across the three main aims of the Glasgow Communities Fund (GCF) – equalities, arts and culture and supporting communities.

“There then began the comprehensive process of assessment of the applications that included input from strategic officer leads across the council family – including Glasgow Life, HSCP, education, financial inclusion and economic development.

“This was dovetailed by Sector Panel Reviews in three areas of the city and which comprised of cross party elected members, community representatives and third sector officials to review all applications to give a local perspective ahead of the decisions being made.

“We know that organisations who have not been recommend for grant funding will be disappointed and officers will be offering feedback and meaningful support around capacity building and financial advice on other sources of funding.

“This has been delivered to groups throughout the GCF funding period – with specialist help offered in the way of workshops and bespoke support to help organisations to become future proof.

“Unfortunately we do not have an infinite pot of money and we need to use the resources of the council – especially during these challenging, financial times – and use what we do have in the most supportive and effective way to meet the needs of Glaswegians and our communities.”

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