The Larder Celebrates 100,000 Meals
The Larder’s food poverty project, Catalyst Kitchen, has reached 100,000 meals. The project, designed in response to Covid-19 restrictions, expected to support 300 people in one year, has now served over 100,000 meals supporting over 700 people.
Catalyst Kitchen initially began in December 2019 as a weekly pop-up dining service to support those experiencing food insecurity. These experiences were created as a social event for the community where you could come along, feel welcomed and gain support where needed. This project aimed to give people a sense of control, to be able to take part in community life, to feel nourished and to feel listened to as well as to disrupt the national answer to food insecurity, foodbanks.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and face-to-face dining experiences were no longer able to be held we quickly pivoted services to the delivery of a food lifeline; launched 3rd of April 2020. The pandemic resulted in a 45% increase in demand for foodbanks and unemployment rose by 97% in West Lothian. We knew the need for our services would be needed now more than ever.
Food made by The Larder chefs, and where possible, supported by young people in training is distributed by a team of volunteers on a weekly basis either directly to beneficiaries’ doors or to local pick-up points based in partnership organisations. The meal delivery has helped our beneficiaries feel happier, less stressed, less isolated and has improved their health and well-being. Our volunteers have increased their personal skills, confidence and have reduced isolation in a time of global isolation.
Angela Moohan, CEO, The Larder said: “It’s not something we celebrate, that we’re having to provide meals to people, but what we are is proud of the fact that we are able to come together, as a team, and deliver that number of meals to people who really needed them at a time of global crisis”
Homeless Beneficiary [Anonymous] said: “Being able to have that regular meal once a day, keeping you in a routine; it just makes your day a little bit easier”.
Suzanne Muir, Tenancy Sustainment Officer, West Lothian Council said: [The Larder] have all been fantastic supporting the young people in West Lothian. They have ensured young people were not left with no food either while staying in a hotel or in their own tenancy. [Their] support has really been invaluable and I can’t imagine how much harder things would have been for the young people if your service was not available.
As restrictions lessen, Catalyst Kitchen will be entering a new phase of provision. The need for support is still evident and if anything, COVID-19 shone a light on an existing issue among our communities.
To ensure we can continue our valuable service, we are seeking the support of the public. As funding comes to an end, many people experiencing hunger will be left without food. If you are in the position to support this project, please head to www.thelarder.org to make a donation and check out our video to learn more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsCFdGz7xhg
The Larder Has Been Shortlisted for TWO Social Enterprise Awards
The Larder has been shortlisted for not one, but two awards in the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland. The Larder are honoured to be amongst some fantastic organisations shortlisted for Social Enterprise of the Year and Social Enterprise Champion.
The Social Enterprise Awards Scotland are a real opportunity for Social Enterprises such as The Larder to showcase their incredible work within the Social Enterprise Sector. These awards showcase the agility, ability and active role this sector can play in building places, supporting communities and making a positive impact on our environment and wellbeing. Those shortlisted represent the incredible work that organisations have done in one of their toughest years.
We are an ambition-driven, innovative social enterprise who use food as a catalyst for social change. We provide training for young people on employability, life skills, health and wellbeing all alongside learning to cook. Our cafes provide space for work experience and social food projects interrupt the national standard response to food poverty by providing nutritious meals and a safe space for those experiencing food insecurity; creating access to quality food in a dignified way.
Like many social enterprises, we faced potential closure as face-to-face working and trading across the world stopped. The pandemic tested us as a team and despite the fact that no job was safe, we did not hesitate in doing everything we could to continue our services. The team moved tuition online, where possible, and in response to the closure of cafes, redesigned our food poverty project, Catalyst Kitchen, to a delivery model. Despite the many hurdles, The Larder had a staggeringly successful year; supporting 199 young people in training and delivering over 100,000 meals to people experiencing food insecurity. It is for this reason that we have been shortlisted as our dedication, passion and drive for social change has proved life-changing and through strong leadership, they have grown to be the most successful training provider in West Lothian; in one of the world’s most challenging years.
Angela Moohan, CEO at The Larder said: “It’s very humbling being nominated for these awards as it recognises the hard work of the whole team who have worked incredibly hard to support so many people in West Lothian living in poverty and experiencing multiple and complex barriers. Our team have been innovative and developed new partnerships to ensure that we have been able to continue our support. Being a finalist for these awards has given us even more encouragement to continue developing our projects and working with our community.”
You can check out the other shortlisted organisations by heading to https://socialenterpriseawards.scot/announcing-the-2021-social-enterprise-awards-scotland-shortlist/
Catalyst Kitchen Shortlisted For Third Sector Awards
The Larder’s food poverty project, Catalyst Kitchen, has been shortlisted for the Third Sector Awards in the Covid-19: Best Service Delivery Innovation category. We are the only Scottish organisation to have been shortlisted in this category and are up against 5 other organisation ranging in support from social cohesion to bereavement.
The Third Sector Awards provide an opportunity for voluntary organisations of all sizes, and the people who work for them, to celebrate their work and the real difference they make to society. After the extraordinary events of the Covid-19 pandemic, this has never been so important. The importance of the work charities, individuals and sector organisations have done throughout the pandemic – to support their beneficiaries, raise awareness of crucial issues and drive best practice among their peers – cannot be overstated. Third Sector are using their platform to thank the individuals and teams working their hardest to deliver at a time when they have never been more needed.
The Larder’s shortlisted project, Catalyst Kitchen, initially began as a weekly pop-up dining service to support those experiencing food insecurity. These experiences were created as a social event for the community where you could come along, feel welcomed and gain support where needed. When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and face-to-face dining experiences were no longer able to be held they quickly pivoted services to the delivery of a food lifeline; launched 3rd of April 2020. A project which estimated to support 300 people, has delivered 108,818 and has supported over 728 food insecure individuals in West Lothian.
The pandemic resulted in a 45% increase in demand for foodbanks and unemployment rose by 97% in West Lothian. The Larder knew the need for their services would be needed now more than ever. For too long, the answer to food insecurity has been foodbanks, an answer which provides cheap food at little to no nutritional value. With this, there is no choice, no control and no dignity and too often the poorest people get the poorest choices. We provide quality, nutritious meals as a method of disrupting this national standard of care. This project has and continues to be described as “a lifeline”, “revolutionary”, “invaluable”, “life changing”.
Angela Moohan, CEO at The Larder said: “It’s very humbling being nominated for this award as it recognises the hard work of the whole team who have worked incredibly hard to support so many people in West Lothian living with food insecurities. Hunger is not something that we should be talking about in 21st century Scotland but sadly it is for an increasing number of people. Our team have been innovative and developed new partnerships to ensure that no-one in West Lothian goes hungry. Being a finalist for award has given us even more encouragement to continue developing our program and working with our community.”
To find out more about The Larder’s services, you can head to their social media pages @LarderTraining. You can also check out the other shortlisted organisations by heading to www.thirdsectorawards.com