West Lothian food charity helping to 'transform lives'

-Credit: (Image: UGC)
-Credit: (Image: UGC)

Put simply, The Larder transforms lives.

Founded in 2010, the West Lothian-based charity fights poverty and hunger with dignity, providing food support, training and fair work opportunities to help local people “transition from surviving to thriving”.

Since launch, the organisation has helped more than 4,000 people access training, delivered more than 200,000 meals to those in West Lothian experiencing food insecurity and employs 36 local people.

It runs a bespoke training academy, two thriving community shops, an artisan bakery and two community cafes offering their own freshly baked sweet and savoury products in Broxburn, Livingston and Blackburn.

Through the academy, the charity provides vital training on employability, life skills and health and wellbeing, alongside cooking classes,

barista qualifications and SQA qualifications.

This all helps to build confidence and prepare and equip young people and adults for the world of work.

As a social enterprise, The Larder makes a valuable contribution to the local economy. All proceeds are reinvested into the sustainability and ongoing development of their training programmes and food poverty projects.

The charity engages with and supports some of the most disadvantaged young people, providing a positive pathway, an opportunity for social

interaction and community cohesion, helping to break the cycle of poverty for years to come.

It also supports parents to work for the first time, return to work or develop skills in work. All of this sits within a framework of lifting young people and adults out of poverty through fair work.

Foundation Scotland has proudly supported The Larder for over 12 years, making their first award in 2012.

Since then, The Larder has received six further Social Investment awards from Foundation Scotland, totalling over £395,000. Most recently, they were awarded £150,000 to support the organisation’s continued growth.

Further to this, The Larder also receives crucial funding towards the CEO salary costs from the David and Averil McDonald

fund, managed by Foundation Scotland.

Angela Moohan, CEO, The Larder, said: “The support we’ve received from Foundation Scotland, from the very beginning of our journey at The Larder, has been critical to our growth as an organisation and ultimately to our mission of helping transform local lives.

“We set up the charity to help practically tackle rising youth unemployment in West Lothian and we know we’ve changed lives, but we couldn’t have achieved this level of success without the partnership with Foundation Scotland

“It’s not just about money, it’s the guidance, understanding and above all else their belief in our mission which has helped us

continue to grow and develop our support at a time when our services have never been needed more.

“Through the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis we have seen growing numbers of local people struggle with rising costs and we’ve put support in place so that everyone can access good food with dignity.

“Despite the economic crisis we have grown our enterprise. We have opened a thriving new community café, launched a new training and skills academy and we proudly continue to create employment opportunities, helping to transform local lives and our communities overall.

“All our proceeds stay in the West Lothian area and are used to sustain and grow our

services so that everyone has the chance to reach their true potential.”

Ali Kennedy, Social Investment Executive, Foundation Scotland, said: “The Larder is our longest serving social investment partner. The growth we’ve witnessed from them across the last decade has been tremendous - they epitomise the definition of a successful social enterprise. “Through their passion, determination, local knowledge and astute business sense, they’ve steadily grown their support into the thriving organisation it is today.”

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