West Kilbride Village Larder’s new food waste reduction initiative lets locals pick up food nearing its sell by date for free.

To better help the environment and the community the larder is making use of surplus food in nearby supermarkets by redistributing them to locals through their new commitment to lowering food waste.

The larder is also collecting extra food from local restaurants, working with SHED social horticulture group to make the most of the produce grown in their community garden, and using waste reduction app Olio.

Volunteer Dawn said: “As well as helping residents, we are really passionate about doing our part for the environment to help reduce food waste and cut carbon emissions.

“Identifying, collecting and re-distributing surplus food is how we can do this and we don’t like to waste anything.

"Every day, before we open, we collect from local supermarkets such as the nearby Co-op and Aldi in Saltcoats where we get items like fruit and veg that are nearing their use by date and popular surplus bakery items like bread and rolls.

“Other surplus surprises come from a local restaurant that we collect from once a week, and we have a great relationship local grower Fi Thorburn who heads up the SHED social horticulture group in a community garden close to our larder.”

Extra food collected by the larder is donated to the warm hub at West Kilbride Parish Church which allows locals to have hot food and drinks on Thursdays and Fridays between 12pm-3pm.

Leftovers have also been given to local pet owners for their furry friends to enjoy.

The use of surplus food has been praised by locals for letting them enjoy little luxuries during the cost-of-living crisis.

One local mum said: “My kids just love when I come to the larder, especially when there’s free items from the surplus shelves to add to our shopping.

“It’s a nice boost and they get so excited when I can bring home things like biscuits, fruit and special treats that I’ve currently been having to trim back on. We really appreciate it.”

The larder’s plans to reduce food waste were confirmed during Food Waste Action Week which took place from March 16 to 12.

Find your nearest food larder here: www.tinyurl.com/FoodLardersNA.

Help for those facing financial issues is available here: www.tinyurl.com/CostofLivingNAsupport.