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National Food Train News

The latest news from the Food Train.

Marri at Scottish Parliament

Regional Manager Marri attends Scottish Parliament Opening Ceremony



On Saturday 2nd July, MSP Ruth Maguire invited our North Ayrshire Regional Manager Marri Welsh as Cunninghame South’s Local Hero, joined by 128 other MSPs and their Local Heroes to celebrate the Opening Ceremony of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Highlights of the day’s events included Her Majesty the Queen addressing MSPs in the Chamber and Local Heroes taking part in the ‘Riding’ procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Commenting on her decision to nominate Marri and Food Train, Ruth said: ‘As the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament gets under way, it’s right that the people of Scotland are placed at the heart of our events. Together with my fellow MSPs, we want to celebrate the achievements of our Local Heroes from across every constituency and region in Scotland. Marri’s work is truly inspirational, having a transformational impact on the lives of older people who rely on Food Train to deliver their essential shopping, working against loneliness, and allowing older people to live in their own homes.’

Responding to her nomination, Marri said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to have been nominated as a Local Hero and to attend this wonderful occasion with Ruth. Food Train has been providing services for older people across Scotland for 21 years. As an Ayrshire girl, I was thrilled to bring our vital shopping service to North Ayrshire in 2015. Our services are delivered by a team of volunteers, every one of them a local hero in Food Train’s eyes and I am thrilled to represent all of them and our organisation, on this very memorable day'.


Marri at opening of Parliament

21st Birthday

Happy 21st Birthday To Us

Food Train is now 21 years old!

 On 29th June, Food Train reached the grand old age of 21! Happy birthday to us! From little acorns mighty oaks grow. And today, we provide 5 services, with the support of 900 volunteers, in 34 vans/4mini buses, across 8 regions of Scotland, to over 2,500 older people. Here's to the next 21!









Eat well, stay safe

Eat well, stay safe!
Food Standards Scotland are campaigning to highlight some areas of best practice around food safety and hygiene. Food poisoning isn’t just something you get outside your home – the meals you prepare can be a source of food poisoning too. The ‘Four Cs’ – cleaning, cooking, chilling and cross-contamination can help you identify and avoid potential sources of food poisoning. Some quick tips:

  • Cleaning Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Keep worktops, chopping boards and utensils clean. Don’t forget to change your dishtowels regularly.
  • Cooking Always follow the instructions on the label, always check your food is steaming hot in the middle – there should be steam coming out. Do not reheat food more than once and take extra care your food is cooked all the way through.
  • Chilling Keep your fridge at the right temperature (between 0°C and 5°C) and keep the door closed as much as possible. Wait for food to cool down before you put it in the fridge. If your fridge is full, it might need your help! Turn the temperature down to help it fight germs.
  • Cross-contamination This is the final operation in the battle against germs. Keep raw meat and unwashed vegetables separate from ready-to-eat food during storage and preparation. Don’t let raw meat drip onto other food. Please ask us if you would like more information.

 Remember the 4 Cs and don’t make your mealtime a horror story! 

‘Use by' and ‘best before’ dates
Another thing to remember is the importance of ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. Many people don’t know there is a difference – do you?

  • A ‘use by’ date is about food safety and is used on foods that go off quickly, such as raw meat or fish, cooked sliced meats and dairy products. Food should not be eaten after its use by date as it may not be safe.
  • A ‘best before’ date is about food quality rather than food safety, so after this date expires the food will not be harmful, but its flavour, colour or texture might begin to deteriorate.

Further useful information can be found at

Six simple steps to avoid food poisoning this Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year when friends and family come together to celebrate the festive season but it can also be hectic in the kitchen, especially when cooking for a large number of people.

Whether it’s party snacks or turkey roast dinners, when you’ve a lot to do in the kitchen and in a hurry you can take your eye off the ball when it comes to hygiene.

And when that happens there’s more scope for things to go wrong.

Food Standards Scotland is helping make sure food poisoning is the last thing on your list this Christmas by urging cooks to follow six top safety tips.

  •          Defrost turkey in the bottom of your fridge or in a cool place
  •          There’s no need to wash your raw turkey – this can splash germs
  •          Cook turkey all the way through until juices run clear
  •          Filling your fridge can raise the temperature – keep it at 0-5°C
  •          Freeze or eat leftovers within two days, and only reheat once
  •          Wash your hands after touching raw meat

See more at

We wish all Food Train customers, volunteers, family and friends a very safe and happy Christmas and New Year.


40,000 people about to spend Christmas alone!

Brian Sloan Scotsman Loneliness pic

Brian Sloan, Chief Executive at Age Scotland has written this great piece in The Scotsman on lonelines. The article outlines the detrimental health impacts that loneliness brings and can be as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is estimated that it can increase the risk of death by 10% and can increase the likelihood of heart disease, blood clots and cancer in some cases. Read the full article here:

With an estimated 40,000 older people in Scotland spending Christmas alone this year it is clear to see more needs to be done on tackling the silent killer. You can help tackle loneliness this Christmas by volunteering with Food Train Friends befriending service which offers 1-1 and telephone befriending or if you know an older person that could benefit from this service please call Dumfries on 01387 279111 or Dundee on 01382 459202 or visit:

Food Train Christmas 'Sponsor a Box'

 Food Train are launching a Christmas crowdfunding campaign on to help raise £500 for the purchasing of new shopping boxes to help deliver vital fresh groceries to older people.

It is a tough life being a Food Train delivery box. Carrying shopping from the supermarket, into the vans, out of the van to our customers houses, back into the vans and back to the supermarket.

Repeat three times a week and it is no wonder our boxes begin to show signs of wear with the cracks showing no matter how careful our volunteers try to be. But you can help by joining our Sponsor a Box project. For £10 you not only provide us with a shiny new delivery box, you can also get your name on the box for a whole year.

Here are what some of our customers say about Food Train, customer Mrs Wilkinson (joined 1997) is Food Train’s longest serving member. Local volunteers have been delivering her groceries for over 18 years. She says “I think Food Train is a wonderful thing”. Mrs Arthur said “I don’t know what would do without Food Train, it is wonderful. It was different when I could get out, but I cannot now. It is just marvellous. And you get a wee blether too and I cannot praise the volunteers enough”

With demand for Food Train services increasingly significantly and to satisfy this demand we require more boxes. By donating you will be helping ensure that older people across Scotland this Christmas eat well, live well and age well. 

You can help by contributing to the crowdfunding campaign at: Sponsor a Box - With Food Samples