Home   News   Cost-Of-Living support: Largs community food larder opens its doors

Cost-Of-Living support: Largs community food larder opens its doors

Posted on 28 Feb 2024

Residents in Largs now have the opportunity to get local access to a variety of low-cost produce including tinned foods, dried goods and personal hygiene products.

All part of the Council’s Fairer Food network, the volunteers at Largs Food Hub warmly opened their doors to their new community food larder – located at Largs Library – on Tuesday, February 27, to provide dignified and affordable access to food for those who are struggling to make ends meet.

North Ayrshire Council has been supporting community organisations as they co-produce a community food network known as North Ayrshire Fairer Food, which began at the start of Covid-19 as part of the initial local pandemic response.

Good examples of local community food provision that have already been developed operate at Fullarton Community Hub in Irvine and Café Solace and now, the Fairer Food Network has expanded throughout the area with Largs bringing the total number of larders to 15.

The community provision based at Largs Library, works on a membership basis and provides a way for locals who are struggling to make ends meet to top up their weekly food shop with their own choice of foods available. This is a more dignified approach to food insecurity and helps members to make their money go further by giving them access to good food at a lower cost.

Irene Weir, Chairperson of Largs Food Hub said: “After many months in the making, we are delighted to now be opening the new Largs Food Hub.

“We’ve been working hard to get the new Food Hub set up and we will be open every Tuesday from 2.30pm – 5.30pm and every Friday from 10.30am – 12.30am. This will be our initial opening hours until we see what the demand is.

“Our goal is to provide an accessible and affordable source of food to anyone in the area who needs it. The larder will be run by members of our community, for members of our community, and I know that it will be a vital resource to families and individuals in the area.

“Working alongside the Council, our Food Hub has been set-up to help families and other residents to get a little more out of their weekly grocery shop for much less and most importantly provide a discreet service, free from stigma.

"With a good number of our community already expressing an interest, and 12 people signed up for memberships so far, the team are off to a flying start, working alongside the Council to help families and individuals to top-up their weekly shopping at an affordable price.”

Unlike a food bank, the larder is not an emergency food provision, and no referral is required.

Membership is open to everyone within the catchment area (of North Coast locality) and all that is needed to join the scheme is a letter to confirm your name and address and a form of ID. The Food Hub will operate on a drop-in basis but if members prefer, they can book an appointment during opening times.

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands said: “Following the success of our firmly established community food larder network, we are delighted to welcome Largs Food Hub as the newest addition to the Council’s Fairer Food network.

“We now have 15 larders in operation so far throughout Irvine, Kilwinning, Three Towns, North Coast and the Garnock Valley. In addition, food support for the islands has been coordinated locally, including creating food contingency stores at Arran Outdoor Education Centre.

“Thank you to everyone involved in getting the Largs Food Hub up and running. I know that this will be a welcomed addition to the community and the hard work and determination of all the volunteers is an inspiration to us all.

“The Council will continue to work closely with officers and community groups who are working hard in the background to bring community food providers together, working towards a food cooperative so that each larder can negotiate group deals and strengthen their food supply.

“However, the volunteers can’t do it alone, so if you can help by giving up some of your free time to help your local community larder or even donate some food or toiletry items, your help and support is much appreciated.

“And, to anyone who is need of a little extra help or who is struggling with the expenses of their weekly food shopping, please don’t be afraid to pop in to your local community larder. We are here to support you.”

Located at Largs Library, the drop-in opening hours for the food larder are every Tuesday 2.30pm-5.30pm and Friday’s 10.30am-12.30pm.

Visit Foodbanks and community larders (north-ayrshire.gov.uk) to find your nearest larder and for opening times of our other larders, visit the Locator Map.