The region’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has joined forces with the charity Food Train to ensure people have enough food for at least 24 hours as they leave hospital in Dumfries and Stranraer.
Special Home from Hospital food packs – which contain dried and non-perishable foods – are being issued to those needing them, with the project being piloted until the end of March.
The charity also carries out follow-up calls to those aged 65 and over who receive the packs within 72 hours of leaving hospital.
Food Train regional manager Helen McAnespie said: “The fact there’s not enough food in the house can delay some people getting home as soon as they are well enough.
"These packs allow them to leave, while giving them a chance to get stocked up or secure the support they need.”
Food Train is also supporting the NHS with transport home for older people who need it.
Julie White, chief officer of Dumfries and Galloway HSCP, said: “At a time of very considerable pressure this initiative should help support hospital discharges and enhance the support people are receiving within our communities.”
Food Train has also joined forces with Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway to encourage more volunteers to sign up to its Meal Makers service.
It pairs people who love cooking with an older person who appreciates a freshly-prepared meal and a chat.
Home economics teacher Nicola Reynolds has been paired with 95-year-old Elizabeth Wickenden since June 2019.
Nicola said: “You don’t have to be a hugely confident cook to do it - just be willing, and it’s a great experience to be part of.”
Elizabeth added: “It’s the company I like, as well as the food coming in. We’ve built a really nice friendship.”
To volunteer call 0800 783 7770 or email [email protected]