FOOD TRAIN – Supporting local older people at home


Food Train is an award-winning charity and social enterprise, established in Scotland over 20 years ago by older people for older people and is looking to expand their services to other Local Authority areas.

With a small staff and over 800 volunteers Food Train delivers multi-faceted support, for more than 2600 older people, to live well at home for longer. Its core grocery delivery service delivered over 40,000 grocery orders in 2016 and is the largest of its kind in the UK.

The service is available to anyone over 65 who struggles with their shopping.  Each week volunteers collect shopping lists, pack up orders at our partner supermarkets and deliver groceries, unpacking them and putting items away for customers.  Customers pay for their shopping plus a small delivery fee.

Food Train provides an innovative and cost-effective way of providing older people’s services which allows people to live independent and healthy lives for as long as possible. The grocery shopping and delivery service not only provides immediate benefits for customers, such as increased food access, access to a healthier diet, and increased social contact, but also contributes towards wider benefits, such as reducing the burden on carers, reducing falls, reducing hospital admissions and length of stay. Silent monitoring and signposting to other services as well as providing wide ranging volunteering opportunities provide added value of the service.

It is Food Train’s vision that all older people should have access to appropriate affordable services that support them to remain independent within their own homes and communities for as long as possible.  Food Train operates only in Scotland but we would like to share our expertise and knowledge and talk to as many interested partners as possible who may be able to champion, support, deliver or fund a Food Train style grocery shopping and delivery service in their local area.  Food Train would not be the delivery organisation but instead would support organisations through a licence agreement to develop a similar service to meet their local needs.

We have already established a partnership with Age UK Lewisham and Southwark who have secured three years funding and have recently launched their Food2You service, and we are talking to Local Authorities and the voluntary sector in several other areas.

If you would like to discuss this exciting opportunity further please contact Frances Alecock at