The Food Train delivers food to many of the region’s elderly people and have experienced a major increase in demand for the service since lockdown started.
However, they have faced the added difficulty of losing 85 per cent of their volunteers, because they fall into the ‘most at risk’ category and are having to self isolate.
They have been appealing for more new volunteers to join their ranks and have been boosted by offers of staff and vans from The Crichton Trust and Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP).
Food Train regional manager Helen Mcanespie said: “A big thanks is needed for Crichton Trust, DGHP and especially Tesco, as they have been so supportive during these very difficult times. “We are relying on Tesco so much to purchase what we need to make sure that everyone is continuing to be fed, because some customers are really scared with what they are seeing on the news.”
As well as the food service, the Food Train is making sure that every customer is receiving a call to check how they are doing, especially with many of them living on their own.
Helen said: “What is for certain is that this pandemic is showing how vital a service Food Train is for the region of Dumfries and Galloway, and why we need to make sure we protect this absolute necessity for vulnerable people.”
She added: “We are having to work 60 hours a week to ensure people are getting their groceries and this is the same throughout the region with every branch in the same boat. Our delivery days are on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but we’re considering adding Tuesday to the list to keep up with demand.”
The charity was set up in Dumfries in 1995 and has had a branch in Annan too for the last 18 years. Anyone interested in volunteering with Food Train should email Helen@thefoodtrain.co.uk or get in touch via their Facebook page.