A guest post from @FoodTrainScot Chief Executive Michelle McCrindle MBE
At Food Train we’re on a perpetual journey, traveling together alongside hundreds of fantastic volunteers and older members as they make their way each day through life. Some journeys are long; like the food we deliver to our customers can take months from seed to harvest, production, distribution, purchase and delivery. Some journeys are very short; like the fabulous home cooked meals made and shared by our Meal Makers cooks, which can be delivered warm from the oven.
But at Food Train it’s not about the length of the journey or the destination, for us the quality and impact of the journey, for those travelling with us, is more important.
For our older members using our group befriending service the journey starts with thoughts and ideas about where they want to go. The next leg of the journey sees our staff and volunteers gathering all the practical information and then chatting with everyone to work out the best plan for the day; who’s being picked up when, how many volunteers are needed, what food options everyone wants and who needs help with what on the day.
For the people we support, preparing for the day out, what to wear, who they might meet and what they might see is as significant as the day itself. The next leg of the journey is looking forward to the day out; thinking about what to wear, what will the weather be like, who else is going and what the trip will be like. The trip is an adventure in its own right; minibuses filled with our volunteers and older members, chatting, smiling and enjoying being together, travelling somewhere new or much visited, experiencing things together, sharing food, laughter and companionship together.
The last leg of the journey is the time that comes after the trip; feeling tired after a day out, a story to tell a friend, relative or carer about the day, memories made and shared, thoughts and ideas for the next trip out. Isolation can be a devastating destination on a joyless journey, so no matter how old or how frail we become we all need joy in our lives. Food Train facilitates this and everyone involved benefits from taking journeys together.
Greg Anderson (American Wellness Speaker and Author) writes “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it”, which I think sums up nicely what Food Train journeys are all about.