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


In 1995 a community survey of older people in Dumfries highlighted that many people struggled with their weekly grocery shopping. The reasons included: not being able to drive; not being able to carry shopping home; and being unable to get out due to illness or a fall. Older people in the community decided to respond and created The Food Train. The objective was to overcome the problems faced by older people with their weekly shopping through a community-capacity building approach. The Food Train was designed from the start to meet wider objectives such as enabling older people to stay in control of their lives and to remain part of the local community.

As well as helping with collecting shopping for older people, The Food Train helps people in other ways, including:

  • aid for those that have difficulty writing their own shopping list due to visual or arthritis-related impairments;

  • telephone ordering, with prompting for people who have memory problems;

  • a variety of payment arrangements to suit differing needs;

  • help with checking, and unpacking of shopping;

  • help with opening tops, packets and so on if required;

  • aid with returning , exchanging and getting refunds on items provided;

  • signposting to other services via leaflets in shopping boxes.

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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