South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on fellow MSPs to thank charity Food Train, which is marking the 25th anniversary of its first grocery delivery.

On 29 June 1995, Food Train’s first van headed out in Dumfries to deliver shopping and supplies to the over-65s.

Food Train started following a community survey of older people which identified that help with the weekly grocery shopping was a priority. A small group of volunteers formed a partnership with local shops and Food Train started making deliveries in the town. One of the founders was Jean Mundell, who devoted the last 14 years of her life to Food Train, working tirelessly maintaining and promoting the charity till her death in 2006. She received an MBE for her work just days before she died.

In the past 25 years, the charity has expanded and now operates across Scotland. Its vans are a familiar sight across Dumfries and Galloway, however, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Food Train has become even more important. It has been a lifeline for those unable to get to the shops due to shielding or self-isolating.

Colin Smyth said: “Food Train is an amazing charity which has provided a lifeline for thousands of people for the past 25 years.

“I remember fondly the work of Jean Mundell and others in setting up Food Train and we owe them a real debt of gratitude for the foresight and vision they showed all those years ago. Since its first run in Dumfries on 29 June 1995, Food Train vans have become a well-known sight across the region, and now beyond, and it’s right that Parliament thanks all its staff and volunteers for the tireless work they do to help our older people who are unable to get to the shops. The charity has always recognised how important it is that older people eat well and that means having access to fresh food.

“The service the charity provides cannot be underestimated but it has really come into its own during the Covid-19 pandemic. As restrictions meant more and more people were unable to leave their homes, Food Train stepped up to the mark and to help hundreds of extra people.

“Everyone involved in the charity should be very proud of what they’ve achieved over the past 25 years and the tireless work which has helped so many.”

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