Four new community food larders in Beith, Kilbirnie, Saltcoats, and Springside have been added to North Ayrshire Council’s Fair Food Network.

This brings the total number of food larders in the network up to 14 and means that more people in need throughout the area will be able to access goods at cheap prices.

Members of the network can also learn from the volunteers about local services such as financial help and support, adult learning and volunteering opportunities, and mental health and wellbeing resources.

Council leader and chair of the Tackling Poverty Board, Marie Burns said: “With energy and household bills soaring once again, the role of the community larders has never been so vital. We are acutely aware of how difficult the next few months are going to be for everyone.

“Our community food larders are at the very forefront of the Council’s Fairer Foods strategy, ensuring that everyone in North Ayrshire has the right to access food with dignity.

“I would encourage all residents and people who work in North Ayrshire who feel that they are able to, to please donate some of their non-perishable cupboard and pantry items to their local larders if they have a few tins to spare.

“Thank you to everyone who is able to do their part to support the larders, your help and donations are much appreciated.”

While food banks require referrals, larders only require a membership which is open to anyone.

The community larders were originally set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but have continued throughout the cost-of-living crisis.