A petition is circulating in an attempt to save the organisation. Without funding, Food Train could close soon.
The Glasgow City Council (GCC) ended all financial support to Food Train on 10 January following 10 years of continuous funding.
The decision came as a shock to Food Train staff members and volunteers, who now must face the potential closure of Glasgow’s branch within weeks. Since the application for £447,000 for 2023-26 was refused on 12 January, the GCC suggested the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) as the most appropriate organisation to fund the Food Train.
A petition was launched by Food Train Glasgow on 19 January, calling on HSCP to find the necessary funding to keep the branch open. So far, it has been signed by more than 3000 people.
The charity organisation provides pensioners with vital services such as the delivery of shopping supplies and home check-ups.
After the GCC predicted a budget shortfall of £119.4 million for 2023/24, the rejection of the Food Train’s application for funding joins the long list of public service budget cuts at a time of higher inflation and cost of living crisis.
The Food Train assists more than 750 pensioners across Glasgow each month, some of whom are dealing with mobility problems, disabilities or ill health after hospitalisation.
An officer with access to records detailing the recommendation process informed Councillor Kerr that the charity had been assessed as “not a high enough priority”, leaving many dependents and their family members both disheartened and frustrated.
In an open letter to the Glasgow City Councilors, Chris Curtis, Glasgow’s regional manager for the Food Train, expressed the reality that “many of the services Food Train provides have filled the gap left by years of cuts in social care budgets”.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) told The Glasgow Guardian that they: “were very disappointed to hear about the withdrawal of Food Train’s funding following a decision made by Glasgow City Council. The charity provides invaluable support and service to those who need it most, offering a lifeline to many of Glasgow’s older residents by providing them with grocery deliveries and warm cooked meals. “
“The SRC has a longstanding relationship with Food Train, having been partnered with them since 2019. The last four years have seen 223 of our students offer them support as volunteer grocery shoppers, meal makers, phone friends, and delivery drivers and helpers.
We would encourage students to sign the petition to reinstate FoodTrain’s funding.”