Stonehaven’s Community Larder Rated a Five Star Success

By bellmannews / April 2, 2021

A CONSULTATION exercise undertaken in February by The Haven Community Larder has provided a host of information about the venture and, with 79% of resondents rating it five-star, a clear thumbs up from residents enjoying the service provided.

Some 136 users took part in the survey, with 16% saying they needed The Larder to meet their basic needs.

The Larder came to my rescue when I had no food in my house. They opened their doors and made it possible for me to eat a healthy meal every day. They welcome every single person that enters the room with a smile and a chat.

Those aged 35 to 54 years-old accounted for half of the survey participants, but all age-groups were represented. And it appears The Larder tops up the cupboards of households beyond the town of Stonehaven with residents of Portlethen, Newtonhill and Kinneff visiting the well-stocked shelves. A third of respondents visit The Larder at least once a week.

A range of personal situations causes households to find things tough going. The pandemic is playing a role as 19% of the survey respondents are currently on furlough. Those still working are also finding things challenging – some 15% are working but unable to make ends meet.

It helped me help a friend who was struggling with food insecurity. They were feeling shame on admitting this but after their visit they were so relieved/pleased they visited The Larder.

In an effort to reduce food waste, The Haven operates in partnership with the Co-op who provide a range of perishable items including bread, fruit and vegetables. Each month, some 1,040 kilos of produce is prevented from being unnecessarily dumped. Asda has also contributed to The Larder, which this week was offering kids’ lunch boxes thanks to their support.

The town’s support for The Haven Community Larder is demonstrated by a small an army of around 50 locals, who have stepped up to join the Covid-compliant rota that sees shifts forming bubbles. The Larder as also created employment for Stonehaven residents through funding opportunities including the Kickstart Scheme.

Founder Julia Morton said: ”It is a testament to our community spirit, and our Haven Helper volunteers, that we have been able to offer a safe and supporting space during the pandemic for people who may need it. We always hoped that was the case, but through the consultation we now know it for sure.”