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Council's Fairer Food network expands to support community food larders
Home   News   Council's Fairer Food network expands to support community food larders

Council's Fairer Food network expands to support community food larders

Posted on 5 Oct 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, North Ayrshire Council has provided 1.26 million meals to the most vulnerable residents, families, children and young people in North Ayrshire.

In addition, with the help of a dedicated army of community volunteers, 123,872 emergency food packs have been delivered to those who have been shielding, isolating or in need of a helping hand during the pandemic.

NAC has also been supplying shopping vouchers since July 2020 during school holidays for children eligible for free school meals.  Part funded by the Scottish Government, the Council opted to increase the value to eligible children and families to £4 per day per child or £20 per week.

And with approximately 5,000 vouchers set to be issued during the upcoming October school break, it is clear that more and more families are depending on a helping hand to get access to food with dignity when they need it most.

Now as our lives cautiously return to a sense of new normal, the Council is focusing its efforts on continuing the development of its Fairer Food network to help alleviate the need for emergency food provision in our communities.

They are doing this by partnering up with community groups and associations to create a dedicated network of food larders throughout our communities.

Set up in partnership with community organisations during the pandemic, there are currently ten established 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.

North Ayrshire Council officers have been working hard in the background to bring community food providers together, working towards a food cooperative to negotiate group deals and strengthen the food supply network.

Open to individuals in need and families, community food larders are vital facilities working on a membership basis and provide a mini supermarket-like environment for people who struggling with the expenses of their weekly shop.

Membership fees vary*, however for £5 or under, members get the opportunity to access a variety of low-cost produce including fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, tinned goods and a selection of personal hygiene products.

When combined as a basket shop, members are set to save in excess of £15 per visit to their local larder.

And with four more community larders on the horizon, set to open in Beith, Kilbirnie, Springside and Saltcoats over the coming months, North Ayrshire’s food larder network is firmly on the map, making a difference to those who need it most.

Councillor Robert Foster, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care (and lead Member for Poverty) recently toured the larders with the Council Leader Joe Cullinane to find out more about the great work happening throughout North Ayrshire.

Robert commented: “During the pandemic it became very clear that a need for subsidised food was vital to help alleviate food poverty faced by some of the most vulnerable individuals and families in North Ayrshire. Community larders do just this and allow people to access food with dignity on their doorstep.

“We are proud to support the tremendous efforts of local community volunteers, North Ayrshire Foodbank and our dedicated team members within Connected Communities to create vital community food larders that are making a real difference to local people.”

Council Leader Joe Cullinane added: “Community food larders are at the forefront of our Fairer Foods scheme as we believe everyone in North Ayrshire should have the right to access food with dignity without the stigma attached.

“Our network of Fairer Food larders are offering a holistic approach to tackling poverty in North Ayrshire. Not only can members access a variety of produce at a subsidised price to make their basket shopping go much further, our volunteers can also signpost members to host of other resources including health and wellbeing support, financial support services and help with employability resources.

“The food larders have been incremental in our Covid-19 response, none of which would have been possible without the hard work, compassion and resilience of our dedicated network of local volunteers and our Community Facilities teams.

And alongside Cllr Foster, we very much look forward to visiting the newest editions to the larders once they open in the coming months.”

There are currently ten larders in operation throughout the Three Towns, Irvine, North Coast and the Garnock Valley, upcoming larders due to open in the coming months include Argyle Larder (Saltcoats), Springside Larder (Irvine), Bridgend Larder (Kilbirnie) and Beith Larder – look out for more info the coming months.

Unlike a food bank which offers emergency food provision, people do not require a referral to access the community larder – providing a far more dignified approach to addressing food insecurity.

Membership is open to everyone within the catchment areas and all that is needed to join the scheme is a letter to confirm your name and address. Visit the Google Map here to find your local Community Larder:

 *Larder locations, opening times and membership fee:


Operated by


Opening times

Weekly membership fee

Ardeer Food Larder

Ardeer Community Centre

23 Shore Rd, Stevenston KA20 3NB

Wednesday 10am-2pm
Friday 5pm-7pm


Choices Community Shop

Fullarton Community Hub

Choices Community Shop, Fullarton Street, Irvine, KA12 8DH

Mon, Wed and Friday 10am-1pm

£3.50 for couples

£6 families

South Ardrossan Larder

North Ayrshire Foodbank (The Trussell Trust)

Church of The Nazarene, 150a Glasgow Street, Ardrossan, KA22 8EU

Monday 4pm-6pm
Tues to Thursday 10am – 2pm
Friday 4-6pm
Saturday 10am-12pm


Cranberry’s Community Larder

Pennyburn Community Association

Cranberry Moss Community Centre, Cambusdoon Place, Kilwinning, KA13 6SL

Tuesday 10am-4pm
Thursday 1pm-7.30pm
Friday 10am-4pm

£3 up to family of 4 £5 larger family

Dalry Community Larder

Dalry Community Association

Dalry Community Centre,  St Margaret Ave, Dalry KA24 4BA

Wednesday 6.30pm-8pm

Saturday 10am-12pm


Tap End Larder

Hayocks Community Association

Hayocks Hall, Hyslop Road, Stevenston, KA20 4HW

Thursday 5pm-7pm


The Farm Basket


Towerlands Community Centre, Bourtreehill, Irvine KA11 1PY

Monday 10am-1pm
Wednesday 4pm-7pm
Friday 2pm-5pm

£3 for singles
£4 for two people
£5 for families

The Village Larder

West Kilbride Community Association

West Kilbride Community Centre, Corse Street, West Kilbride, KA23 9AX

Tuesday 9-12pm

Thursday 6-8pm

Friday 9-12pm

£3 or £5 for a larger family 

Quaint Larder

Whitlees Community Association

Whitlees Community Centre, Carrick Place, Ardrossan, KA22 7DT

Wednesday 10am -4pm


The Wee Shoap

ACES Woodwynd Community Association

Woodwynd Community Centre, 50 David Gage Street, Kilwinning, KA13 7EF

Mon, Wed and Friday 10am – 3pm