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Connected Communities Launch network of North Ayrshire Fairer Food sites

Following on from initial coronavirus lockdown, the Connected Communities team have been working with community organisations to co-produce a local community food network ‘North Ayrshire Fairer Food’ which will be embedded into local communities post-Covid and beyond.

Recently, the Council have supported a number of community groups to create and launch community food larders/shops which aim to provide food with dignity.

These systems work on a membership basis and provide a mini supermarket/shop-like environment where residents can choose their own food from a range of produce including fresh fruit and veg, meat and tinned goods in addition to other essential items such as personal hygience products.

This allows residents to make their money go further by giving them access to good food at a lower cost, as well as a range of community information and advice and guidance where needed.

Four facilities are now up and running with support from Community Learning & Development and Community Facilities. Click on links below for more info on each of the sites:







Unlike a foodbank, these community shops are not offering emergency food provision – no referral is required to access them, and they are open to everyone within the catchment area.

Connected Communities have co-developed a toolkit, guidance framework and Fairer Food System branding. The toolkit provides guidance for new organisations wishing to be a part of the network. With the guidance now in place we expect several additional sites to be fully developed and launched in the coming months.

Angela Morrell, Senior Manager for Conneted Communities, said: “This area of work has been a fabulous example of successfully co-designing a fairer food system across our localities, working from the value base of food with dignity.

“Local people providing local solutions, with a focus on enabling and supporting the active citizenship approach. This work has been built upon the learning we have gained from the pandemic, with our community voice and experiences at the heart of the process.

“It has brought teams, services and partners closer together sharing one vision – to provide better outcomes to North Ayrshire citizens as part of our strategy to address inequality and poverty.

“The enthusiasm and commitment from our communities has been the driving force behind the pace of this work and we are all very proud of this collaboration and the opportunities each site will offer, including access to information, volunteering and learning.

“As additional sites open, we hope there will be less dependency for Emergency Food Parcel referrals as individuals and families will have the opportunity to buy into a membership scheme to top up weekly household food supplies.”

Joanne Redmond, Community Facilities, added: “I have enjoyed working closely with our partners and associations in developing Food Systems for our communities.  The hard work that has gone into, and continues to go into, this development will provide so much benefit to the members of our communities, allowing them to shop with dignity for themselves and their families.

“The effort that everyone has put in and their willingness to help others has made this very rewarding and truly highlights the meaning of community.”

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