A new Scotland wide initiative aiming to tackle the rising tide of malnutrition amongst older people has today (THURS 31 AUGUST) received £1.2 million of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund. Led by award winning charity Food Train, the Eat Well, Age Well project, will bring together voluntary groups, local and national government, private sector and health professionals to work together nationally to address malnutrition which affects 1 in 10 older people across Scotland.
As an experienced charity working in this field, Food Train’s army of volunteers make hundreds of vital food deliveries to older people each week in seven local authority areas in Scotland.
Welcoming the funding, Food Train Chief Executive Michelle Carruthers MBE said: “This funding award is the culmination of many dedicated people coming together, listening and learning from older people about their food needs. Through the Eat Well, Age Well project, we will work towards a sustainable approach to reduce malnutrition among older people living at home and create a long lasting and engaged network across the country committed to this issue. We are absolutely delighted with this Big Lottery Fund award, which will allow us to carry on the legacy of our founders in partnership with others.”
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “This award, made possible by National Lottery players, will bring together partners in the public, third and private sectors to help tackle malnutrition amongst older people in our communities. With its expertise, knowledge and skills, the Food Train is well placed to lead this initiative while working with others to ensure a nation-wide approach. I look forward to following the progress of the Eat Well, Age Well Project as it begins to create a much needed strategy to address this across Scotland.”
Recognising the need for a coordinated approach to food and older people, the Scottish Government and Food Train, co-hosted a national Malnutrition Summit in 20151. Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Public Health, said: “I welcome the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland continuing their support for projects that deliver community benefits. Food Train has great experience of working with food, health and older people, and is well placed to take this forward. I look forward to hearing how this work progresses. No matter where you are from, everyone has an interest in food. It is important for health, and also plays a big part in social occasions, bringing people together for meals. The Scottish Government will consult on a new Diet and Obesity Strategy in the autumn. We will be considering how we can support everyone to access enough food, access the right food, and support everyone to make healthy choices at every step.”
In developing the proposal, Food Train heard stories from their older members2, who talked fondly of the meals and foods they used to love and share, but how age, frailty and an increasingly inaccessible care system affected their ability to eat as they wished. The Eat Well, Age Well project will test new ways of helping older people eat well across Scotland, while sharing the learning across the UK working alongside the London based Malnutrition Task Force3.
Note to Editors:
Food Train is a Scottish Charity founded in 1995 by older people for older people. Today its 1000 volunteers work across 8 regions of Scotland making hundreds of food deliveries each week to older people living at home. In addition, the Charity provides befriending services, delivers library resources, carries out handyman help at home tasks and operates a national neighbourhood meal sharing service4 which has, since late 2014, seen volunteer cooks across the land share over 6000 home cooked meals with older people in need.
The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. In 2016/17 it awarded £712.7 million and supported more than 13,814 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
Since June 2004 it has awarded £8.5 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.