From Stewart Aitken, Co-op Member Pioneer Stonehaven –
Stonehaven Co-op stores support the local Community Larder, “The Haven” through the company’s Food Share scheme
THE HAVEN Community Larder has partnered with Stonehaven’s Co-op stores at Market Square and David Street as part of the company’s national Food Share initiative – and now receive daily donations of fresh produce.
The community larder, run by volunteers at The Haven on Allardice Street, is stocked with a wide selection of foods and encourages any local people to come and take items they are in need of and also drop off other items, if they are able.
Encouraging all members of the community to use the larder helps break down some of the stigmas associated with living in food poverty as it is a resource for everyone, no matter their background or circumstances.
This new partnership has added a wide selection of fresh produce including dairy products,vegetables, fruit, meat and bakery items to The Larder, providing homes for Co-op food items which are close to shelf life expiry, but are still good to use.
Stewart Aitken, Co-op member pioneer for Stonehaven, said: “This partnership came about because we were very aware that a lot of people struggle to access food, and not just during the recent Covid period, and we have significant levels of food going to waste each day in our four stores.
”It made sense to encourage the team at The Haven to apply to be a Food Share partner as they developed their new community facility with the aim of breaking down some of the social barriers that people find about accessing food.”
Deryth Payne, store manager of Co-op Market Square, said: “This is a great cause for the Co-op to be involved in because we are a very community-based store, and this is a very community-based place that helps so many people.”
The partnership through the scheme has meant The Larder has access to fresh produce more regularly, where they had previously been very reliant on tinned goods, and has significantly helped the two Co-op stores’ ambitions to reduce food waste.
Adam Butler, team manager at David Street Co-op, added: “In the past we were throwing out quite a lot of items, but now with the Food Share partnership it can all go to a great cause like this.
”I hope we can add more delivery days to this partnership and perhaps also partner with other local organisations working on the challenges of food access.”
“The whole point of the larder is that nobody should be living with food insecurity,” said Kate Latham, of The Haven.
“It’s partly about feeding the community, and partly about not seeing stuff get thrown in the bin!”
Everybody is welcome at The Larder. Opening times can be found on The Haven Stonehaven facebook page . If anyone is interested in hearing more about the Coop FoodShare scheme they can contact Stewart Aitken, member pioneer for Stonehavenat firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website https://www.coop.co.uk/environment/food-share.