Haven Community Larder Update

From:

Starkeeper Morton
CEO and Keeper of The Haven

The Haven Community Food Larder (The Larder) will be closing on 30 June 2023. The Larder closing will come as a devastating blow to the community especially families and individuals working hard to make ends meet. With increasing numbers of people in work experiencing poverty compared to those in unemployment and benefits, the Stonehaven and surrounding community are struggling with the high cost of living. 

The Larder, which has been providing food and basic household supplies to their 550 larder members for over three years, is forced to close due to rising operational costs of rent and food prices. The two tonnes of food waste collected monthly from local businesses and Fareshare is not enough to feed the 1279 people supported by The Larder each month. This fact, combined with donations dropping, meant more food was having to be purchased to fill The Larder shelves.

Despite the tireless efforts of staff, volunteers and community members, The Larder simply can not keep up with the rising costs, leaving 926 adults and 353 children without a local non-means tested self-referral food provision. Two staff roles will also be made redundant as a result of the closure.

While the closing of The Larder undoubtedly affects the most vulnerable in Stonehaven and surrounding communities, it also highlights the wider issues of food insecurity and poverty that are affecting millions of families across the country. As the cost of living continues to rise, more and more people are finding it difficult to put food on the table, leading to a rise in demand and pressure on local community-led food provision. A list of food organisations closures around the country can be found here

The Larder has been run by 63 volunteers called Haven Helpers covering 1024 larder shifts including staying open during holidays, like Christmas, a time when most food larders are shut. Starkeeper Morton, founder of The Haven and The Larder commented: “We have demonstrated what is possible when a community comes together in a compassionate and cohesive way. The Larder would not have been possible without the support of 24 partners, 39 businesses, 11 local schools / nurseries, 25 community groups and organisations, and most of all the immeasurable impact of community spirit.” 

The Haven will be continuing to meet their charitable aims of food education and reducing food waste through The Haven Plot teaching garden and The Haven Kitchen that offers community cooking classes. Remaining funds from The Larder will be ring fenced to continue to support community food. 

Chair of The Haven Board, Thane Lawrie stated:, “Although disappointing news , we are confident that The Haven can find other sustainable ways of supporting the community through food alongside our wellbeing charitable aims.” 

For now, the closure of the  Larder is a stark reminder of the impact of the cost of living crisis on our most vulnerable community members. But it’s also a call to action – a reminder that we all have a role to play in ensuring that no one in our community goes hungry.

The Haven is asking for support from caring members of the community to join its free “Friends of The Haven” membership in hope of one day securing our own premises and not being reliant on leases. It is also a way to stay connected and find inclusive, creative and compassionate solutions for the most vulnerable. 

Sign up to be a “Friend of The Haven” by clicking this link here

A list of community food initiatives still operating in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire can be found here. 

The Haven wishes to acknowledge and thank all their supporters.  

PARTNERSHIPS

  • Aberdeenshire Council Social Work 
  • Aberdeenshire Council Work Experience 
  • Aberdeenshire Fair Food Partnership
  • Aberdeenshire Food Network
  • Aberdeenshire Food Strategy Group
  • Aberdeenshire Parental Employment Support Fund
  • Aberdeenshire Tackling Poverty & Inequalities Group
  • Alcohol and Drugs Action UK
  • Alzheimers Scotland
  • Cfine
  • ChildSmile
  • Coop
  • DWP/Kickstart – providing employment opportunities
  • Elevate Teen Group
  • Fair Food Aberdeenshire Food Security and Food Culture/Environment Sub Groups
  • Free Period Products Hub for South Aberdeenshire/Kincardine and Mearns
  • GRAM – to provide free contraception to the community
  • NHS Grampian
  • One Seed Forward
  • Pillar Kincardine
  • Penumbra
  • SSPCA
  • Tesco
  • Surplus with Purpose 
  • Volunteering Matters 

FUNDERS

  • Aberdeen University Students Show
  • Aberdeenshire Council Community Food Fund
  • Aberdeenshire Council Community Resilience Fund
  • Aberdeenshire Council Kincardine & Mearns Area Committee ACT2
  • Aberdeenshire Tackling Poverty & Inequality
  • ABRDN Group Charitable Foundation
  • Asda
  • Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund
  • COOP
  • Hubbub
  • Scotmid
  • Scottish Government
  • STV Appeal
  • Suncor
  • TAQA
  • Wood Group Youth & Philanthropy Initiative
  • Yorkshire Building Society

COMMUNITY COUNCILS

  • Catterline, Kinneff and Dunnottar Community Council 
  • Crathes, Drumoak & Durris Community Council
  • Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore Community Council

COMMUNITY GROUPS

  • Beavers
  • Bettridge Centre/ Reactive8 Coffee Morning
  • Brio
  • British Legion Stonehaven
  • Catterline WRI
  • Chapelton of Elsick 10k
  • Deen Divas SWI
  • Dellavaird WRI
  • Drumlithie Improvements Group
  • Edenholme
  • Inspire
  • Live Life Aberdeenshire
  • Mackie Rugby Football Club
  • Mackie Youth Football
  • Newtonhill Allotments
  • Newtonhill Village Association
  • North of Scotland SBT Club Show
  • Rotary Club of Stonehaven
  • SNP Stonehaven & Lower Deeside
  • Stonehaven Brownies
  • Stonehaven Gardening Club
  • Stonehaven Rock Choir
  • Stonehaven Vaccination Centre
  • Stonehaven Youth Football Club
  • Ury Players

SCHOOLS

  • Arduthie School
  • Babes in Wood Nursery
  • Carronhill School
  • Dunnottar School
  • Glenbervie School
  • International School Aberdeen
  • Lairhillock School
  • Lathallan School
  • Mackie Academy
  • Mearns Academy
  • Mill O’ Forest School

BUSINESSES

  •  A&I Taxis
  • Aberdein Considine
  • All Wrapped Up
  • Arnold Clark
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Bayview Apartments
  • Bow-Wowz Dog Grooming
  • Brae
  • Brio Retirement Living/Brio Landale Court
  • Carmont Valley Livestock
  • Castleton Farm
  • Charles McHardy’s
  • Charles Michies
  • Colin Brown – Artist
  • Commsbank
  • CS Corporate Solutions 
  • E.Giulianotti
  • Event ™
  • Foodie Quine & Friends
  • Gumblossom
  • Inverted: Circus & Pole Fitness
  • Istana
  • James & George Collie
  • Jenny’s Tropic
  • Kuk Sool Won of Stonehaven
  • Lembas Organic
  • M & Co
  • Macphies
  • McGillivray Architects
  • MMA Offshore
  • My Beautiful Caravan
  • Replenish
  • Scallywags
  • Scape Energy
  • Scotmid
  • Station Hotel – Stonehaven
  • Stonehaven Bed Centre
  • Stonehaven Bowen Therapy
  • The Red, Red Robin
  • Turriff’s Fruit & Vegetable Merchants
  • Villa Coffee Shop
  • Vista Landscapes 

FOODBANKS

  • Aberdeenshire South Foodbank
  • Catalyst Church

ONWARD REFERRALS & SIGNPOSTING

  • ADP
  • Al-Anon
  • Gamblers Anonymous
  • Homestart
  • Kincardine & Mearns Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Kincardine and Mearns Befriending
  • Man Chat
  • Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living
  • Pillar
  • Samaritans
  • SAMH
  • SCARF
  • Stonehaven Community Sports Hub