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The Food Train: supporting older people to eat healthily at home

Costs and Savings

The economic evaluation calculated the direct costs of delivering The Food Train’s services in 2008/09 were just over £211,000. This consisted of:

  • Staff costs of £81, 900
  • Central running costs of £77,900
  • Delivery of shopping & EXTRA services of £51,500

This allowed for over 15,000 grocery deliveries, and 1,000 EXTRA home support visits. This generated £31,000 in service charges to customers. Grants and donations were levered into the service equivalent to over £193,000.

The importance of volunteers to The Food Train is demonstrated by an estimate made by an evaluation of the Food Train’s economic value. It was estimated that the  total unpaid time invested for the year 2008/09 was 27,500 hours. This works out as invested time equivalent to £277,000 (using an average hourly rate for volunteers of £10.10) .

The Food Train's customers benefit financially from not having to use transport to get to enterprises. Moreover, the delivery service has lower costs and higher quality service than alternatives. The same is true for customers of the EXTRA service. The Food Train's customers spent £434,302 in 2008/09. There was a consensus amongst retail partners that The Food Train had a positive economic effect. Garages have benefited from the sale of diesel to tune of approximately £11,000.

About this case study
Main Contact

Michelle McCrindle

Chief Executive

Tel: (00 44) (0) 1387 270800

Gaynor Grant

National Development Officer



(00 44) (0) 7545 925513

Frankie Hine-Hughes wrote this case study for Governance International on 22 March 2012.

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