Meal Makers, the project that connects communities through food, has arrived in Renfrewshire and they are on the lookout for new volunteers.

The community food sharing project was launched as a pilot project in Dundee in August 2014 and proved to be an instant hit across the city. It has since been launched in Glasgow, Perth and Kinross and now it being rolled out across Renfrewshire. The idea behind Meal Makers is really simple – they connect people who love cooking and want to be active in their community (‘Cooks’), with older (55+) neighbours (‘Diners’), who would appreciate home cooked food delivered to them every now and again.


So how does this work in practice? Well, when a Meal Makers cook is preparing their evening meal for themselves and their family, they will prepare one extra portion of their home cooking and take it round to an older neighbour at a time which suits both parties. Not only does the project provide a way for older adults to enjoy freshly prepared nutritious home cooking (particularly older adults who might find it difficult to enjoy home cooking otherwise), but it also helps bring communities together and combats the social isolation experienced by many members of the older population. How often meals are shared, and when they are shared is left entirely up to the Cook and Diner to decide between themselves. Meals are most commonly shared on a weekly basis, but they can occur fortnightly, monthly or just now and again.

Since launching the project over 140 Cook and Diner matches have been made, and over 1250 meals have been shared with older people through the project. Diners really enjoy participating in the project as they get to meet friendly neighbours, and get to enjoy their lovely home cooking. Cooks, on the other hand, really enjoy the flexibility the project allows – they like the way Meal Makers turns an everyday activity like cooking into a volunteering opportunity that they can do in their local community, and at a time in which they can fit around their busy schedule.

The Meal Makers team are really excited about rolling the project out to Renfrewshire and they are looking for volunteers now! If you want to do something great with an extra plate, or if you are interested in finding out a bit more about the project please visit Alternatively you can phone Meal Makers on 0800 783 7770, or email them at


Here are what some of their Cooks and Diners say about the project:

Grace (Diner)

“Russell went over and beyond my expectations, the meal was delicious and it was the first meal in ages I actually finished every last bit. I can’t believe that someone could be so kind.”

Lois (Cook)

“Anne made some really sweet comments about Meal Makers such as she looks forward to it all week and it’s the only time she eats green vegetables! We had a great blether – I love Anne’s sense of humour!”

Andrew (Diner)

Andrew on being paired with Mary: ‘I’m incredibly appreciative of Meal Makers and being paired up with Mary. I really enjoy the meals but it is the company that makes the biggest difference’

Pauline (Cook)

“We ate afternoon tea together. Betty remarked that it’s nice to eat in company and it occurred to me that she eats nearly all her meals alone. I introduced her to “youtube” via my mobile phone and I said I can find anything she wants on there. She asked me to show her Susan Boyle first audition, which I did, and she was delighted as she is a fan and has always wanted to see it again.”

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Food Train needs more boxes!

Award winning older people’s charity, Food Train, has entered new fundraising territory… Crowdfunding! It’s aiming to raise £1,000 to buy 200 new boxes by the 15th August on Indiegogo.

Food Train operates a grocery shopping delivery service for older people in Renfrewshire and in five other local authorities in Scotland, who are unable to or have difficulty getting their own shopping.


Food Train customers complete a shopping list at home, volunteers then pick up the order, shop for it and deliver the order back to the older person’s home for a small charge of £3.

The service plays a big part in tackling the issue of malnourishment amongst older people. A recent report by the Malnutrition Task Force stated that up to 10% of Scotland’s older people could be malnourished, which equates to approximately 90,000 older Scots.

Lack of food access is recognised as one of the main reasons that older people become malnourished, so Food Train’s service is vital to help combat the problem.

In a first for the charity, Food Train is using the Crowdfunding website Indiegogo, to try and raise £1,000 to buy 200 new boxes. The boxes are used by Food Train’s volunteers to store groceries whilst going round the supermarket and then to deliver the groceries to Food Train’s customers.

Without these simple boxes, Food Train would have struggled to complete the near 30,000 deliveries it made to older people across Scotland last year, which is why they’re asking the public to get behind their Crowdfunding campaign and contribute if they can. As little as £5 will help towards buying a new box.

The campaign went live on the 18th July and finishes on the 15th August. So time is of the essence! You can find the campaign on by searching “Food Train New Boxes” or by going to the link[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Food Train Renfrewshire celebrate National Volunteers‘ Week

Volunteers’ Week is taking place between 1-7 June – a national celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.


Since the launch of Food Train in Renfrewshire on 1st October 2013, we have recruited 33 local volunteers – all individual and unique, volunteering for different reasons – and collectively they make a brilliant team. In the 8 months since we launched, they have donated 2,336 hours of their time, making1,436 deliveries to 103 local older people.


So, we’re shining a big bright light on our fabulous team. Enjoy the trailer to our celebration film attached. But save some of the popcorn for next week – the longer version ends with some genuine, lovely messages from grateful customers. Please join us on Facebook (Food Train Renfrewshire), our CEO Michelle on Twitter (@FoodTrainScot) and our website ( for more celebrations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]