Tesco shoppers across Scotland have nominated a local neighbourhood food-sharing scheme who provide the older members of the community with prepared meals and good conversation to receive a £1,500 grant as part of the Tesco Community Grant scheme.

The Meal Makers project by charity Food Train assists isolated older people across the country by matching them with a local volunteer who has a passion for home cooking to share a regular home cooked meal with them, as well as a regular friendly chat.

The scheme, which was launched by Food Train in 2014, has helped to strengthen connections with communities, as well as helping to combat the serious issue of loneliness, isolation and malnutrition sometimes found with older members of the community through these weekly meet ups and regular freshly prepared meals.

The charity which has branches across Scotland, is one of thousands of projects that Tesco Community Grants have supported and proudly features as an example of the supermarket’s work across the UK, in the Tesco’s Community Impact Report, published this week. Projects that tackle homelessness, support families of Servicepeople, encourage diversity and provide Covid 19 support are also highlighted.

The report, created in partnership with the charity Groundwork, who run the Tesco Community Grants scheme, celebrates the successes of the grant funding programme, which has been helping communities since 2015 and breaks down how the £100m of Community Grants was allocated over that time.

Since it began, Tesco has awarded £101,881,339 in funding to 50,880 community projects. The grant awards were decided by 738,402,011 votes cast by Tesco customers in stores across the UK using their iconic blue tokens.

Breakdown of grants by project focus:

Project focus No. of grants awarded Funding provided
Improving health & wellbeing 15,091 £30,396,315
Creating a better environment 5160 £17,260,217
Physical improvements to an outdoor space 3207 £17,145,443
Education, training, skills 6540 £11,187,705
Sport 4077 £7,127,781
Building better community relationships 3599 £6,123,605
Community activities in an outdoor space 1822 £4,180,573
Covid 19 emergency support 8049 £4,024,500
Arts & culture 1611 £2,500,409
Tackling food insecurity 1724 £1,934,791
50,880 £101,881,339

The £1,500 grant will help Food Train and the Meal Makers project further extend each reach across more remote parts of Scotland, as well as further bolster the development of the scheme in areas through additional awareness and a larger drive for volunteers to take part.

Claire De Silva, head of communities and local media at Tesco, said: “Through our Community Grant, we have been able to provide additional support to some fantastic causes all across Scotland, such as the Meal Makers project. Every grant is chosen by our customers in store so we always hope these grants make a difference to everyone that they continue to support within our communities.”

Morna O’May, Service Manager at Food Train Connects, said: “When we began the Meal Makers project, we wanted to help focus on both food and friendship when helping some of the more vulnerable people living in our communities. Our diners mostly live on their own with little family nearby so having someone to share a regular nutritious home cooked meal can go an incredibly long way.

“Being a charity with such a focus on community and connection, we are overjoyed to have been nominated for the Tesco Community Grant, which will help us to continue partnering volunteers with older people to provide both friendship and support. We’d like to extend our thanks to every Tesco customer and every in store for helping us continue this work across Scottish as it’s vital for us to be able to continue to provide this care to those in need.

“If anyone in the local area would like more information about the Meal Makers project, please visit www.mealmakers.org.uk.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *