Fife food project helps to tackle social isolation after lockdown

Meal Makers Russell and Jess.Meal Makers Russell and Jess.
Meal Makers Russell and Jess.
An award winning food project is aiming to make a huge difference to the lives of older people this autumn and winter.

Meal Makers is a local neighbourhood food-sharing project that connects people who love to cook, with an older neighbour in a effort to tackle social-isolation.

The initiative is a part of the award-winning Scottish charity Food Train that aims to support older people to eat well, age well and live well.

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Anyone over the age of 55 can take part and become a diner. They will be paired with a local cook and start receiving delicious home made meals from a friendly neighbour.

Normally, the cook make an extra portion of food for the diner and they share a meal together, but due to the ongoing pandemic, they have been dropping meals off and have been connecting over the phone.

Carol Simmons, development officer said: “This is the second year that we have been running the Meal Makers programme in Fife.

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"Last year, to get the word out there we blitzed the whole of Fife and the initiative has been very well received.

"We made Meal Makers available to anyone who is 55 and over as there are a lot of younger people who are living with long term cognitive conditions, but it is mostly older people who use the service.

"Our aim is to tackle loneliness, social-isolation and malnutrition, things that a lot of older people in the community sadly face.”

Potential cooks for Meal Makers have to complete a series of checks, including a PVG and identity check before completing an online profile to be matched to the most suitable candidates.

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"We match cooks to diners according to likes, dislikes and similar interests,” Carol added. “Obviously we try to match them up as closely as possible, but nine times out of 10 this rarely matters.

"Our cooks really go out of their way to help the diners - there have been a lot of strong friendships formed from the scheme.

"Because of the pandemic, older people are facing even more isolation, so to have someone to chat with, even over the phone, can be a lifeline.”

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