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. They 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.