We’ve been working hard to build partnerships with supermarkets and save their food waste from going in to landfill. We have also continued with our Fareshare membership which was originally set up by Renfrewshire Council, which we now pay for using our visitor donations. This Fareshare membership allows us access to additional surplus food. During the pandemic, the community donated money which was held as a Food Fund at Heritage Farm shop; Until this recently ran out, we had been using it to top up the food parcels we still deliver weekly. Other than this, we had not been supplementing our food supply with bought food. The reason for this was because as an environmental project, we didn't want to contribute to unnecessary food production and waste.
The cost of living crisis however is worsening, and as food prices continue to rise, we recognise the need to focus on food security as well as our environmental principles. Therefore, we've made the decision to purchase dried and tinned food when required, to keep our pantry stocked. At this stage, we don't intend to buy more
fresh food and we will be relying on the supermarket surplus for all bread, fruit/veg, just as before (we might top up fresh supply for the parcels if/when needed). The non-perishable food however, will be stocked using supermarket donations, Fareshare provision, and from time-to-time, food bought when really needed. We will also accept donations of rice, pasta, tins, cereal, jars etc.
We hope that our Larder Members understand why we've made this decision. It doesn't change anything for anyone using the service. But we felt we need to let people know as it does slightly expand our focus, for the time being. Over time, we may be able to rely on surplus food only for stocking the pantry again, but it feels right at the moment to make this change.
We always keep an amount of food by to ensure that anyone going hungry is not stuck. If you could use a bit of extra help you can message us here or speak to one of our volunteers. It will be dealt with discreetly and confidentially.
In the mean time, we continue to welcome everyone to the Larder, no matter your circumstances. This is a community project and in addition to supplying food, we can help connect you to other support services for help paying fuel bills, dealing with debt, mental health support, and more. We also provide tea and coffee, and a meeting place for anyone who wants company or a chat. And we always have volunteer opportunities within our friendly and inclusive team.