Since the start of the lockdown in March in response to the Coronavirus pandemic communities across North Ayrshire have organised themselves as a legacy to the Councils fantastic Locality hubs. There are now multiple options to access short-term emergency or long-term income based support.
North Ayrshire Foodbank is a referral based system for those enduring a short term crisis. The other organisations noted below do not require a voucher. A network of “larders” is under development aimed at those with modest incomes and can afford a weekly membership fee. This is a support which will last as long as the household requires it to do so and maintain their membership.
The options to access a foodbank voucher are:
1. If you have a support worker from an agency you can ask them. Many work for organisations who issue the vouchers or can source one for you.
2. If you live in rented accommodation of a Housing Association speak to their Tenants support worker. This includes those in temporary accommodation from NAC who can call the Housing Support team.
3. If you are on a benefit request a voucher from your JobCentre.
4. If none of the above are options phone 01294 310000. They will either refer you to a hub or the Scottish Welfare Fund.
There are local organisation who do not require a food voucher which may be a quicker route for direct support: If you live in the Largs, Dalry, Kilbirnie or Fullerton area of Irvine you will be able to approach:
Kilbirnie Bridgend Community Centre or the
Fullerton Community Centre.
If you live in Ardrossan or can travel, there are two larders who are currently open for “ membership”, no food vouchers required. This has a weekly fee of between £3-4 and is aimed at households with some income available for food. The membership allows you access to one “shop” per week for goods which have a value of £16-20. It is hoped that more will open soon, but anybody can use the Ardrossan ones until they do. Check the Whitlees Community Centre website for opening times.
The Foodbank Larder is open Fridays from 4pm until 8pm and Saturday 10am until 2pm (Festive season – see website for different days). You can ask for a membership form when you visit either Larder. Just bring an official document which proves where you live. A Council Tax bill is best.
Whether you face a crisis or need access to a boost to your capacity to access food it is the hope of all operating the above organisations that they help you to have sufficient food to maintain your health and well-being.