Dumfries & Galloway residents can directly support older people in the region by sponsoring boxes which carry lifeline shopping deliveries to over-65s in their homes
Food Train has launched a fundraising campaign to boost its work to ensure older people across Dumfries and Galloway do not go without lifeline shopping supplies.
It has declared the next month BOXtober – giving people throughout the region the opportunity to sponsor the boxes which carry essential groceries delivered to those who would otherwise struggle.
A £10 donation will sponsor a box for 12 months.
The drive comes as Dumfries-based Food Train, like other charities, grapples with its own rising electricity and fuel costs to ensure its volunteers can be there for those who need them.
The charity helps people aged 65 and over to eat well and live well in their own homes through their shopping delivery, meal making and befriending services.
All money raised locally through BOXtober will go directly towards supporting older people in the region amid concerns that many are at risk of becoming malnourished this winter as they struggle with the impact of the cost of living crisis.
Emma Black, Food Train’s National Fundraising and Marketing Manager, said: “Sponsoring a box might sound a simple act, but it makes a remarkable difference to our work to support older people across Dumfries and Galloway.
“Our volunteers go above and beyond. They offer comfort and reassurance when times are challenging – as they are now – and are there to offer support, help and listen to our members/ needs.
“As the people who shop for and work with try to manage their own finances amid rising costs, we are helping them to make cost-effective and difference choices when ordering their groceries, to reduce the risks of them having to go without.
“At the same time, however, we are dealing with our own rising costs. BOXtober can play an important part in helping us to meet those. Sponsoring even just one box will help us improve the lives of older people locally.”
In tandem with fundraising, the charity – which achieved a 27-year dream by opening its first home of its own in Dumfries town centre this summer – is also using the appeal to encourage people to check in with their neighbours to ensure they are safe and well.
BOXtober has been launched just weeks after Food Train highlighted fears that greater numbers of older people locally are at increased risk of malnutrition as they struggle with the rising cost of living.
A quarter of its members nationally who responded to a survey said buying less food so they can save money to heat their homes as energy prices spiral. Sixty per cent said they planned on heating their homes less to manage their finances.
Food Train works with more than 3,000 older people each year across Scotland. Its grocery shopping service has faced sustained record-high demand across the country since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, making more than 60,000 shopping deliveries across Scotland in the last 12 months.
To support the BOXtober campaign – or for more details – go to www.thefoodtrain.co.uk/sponsor-a-box.