Pop-up larder brings groceries to older people’s doorsteps

A pop-up larder is helping older people pick up their groceries and meet their neighbours - without leaving the comfort of their block of flats.

GHA pantry

GHA tenants at 415 Nitshill Road in the south side are benefiting from the new service which offers low-cost food to residents living in their multi-storey.

Threehills Community Supermarket has set up a shop in the sunroom in the block to make it easier for tenants with mobility issues or a disability to access affordable, healthy food.

It also helps the environment by diverting food that might otherwise have been wasted to people who really need it.

GHA tenant Mary MacFadyen, 66, is one of the people who have been using the larder.

She said: “I think it is fantastic. I have just been down to pick up some bits I ran out of. It’s really handy to have it on your doorstep, especially with the winter coming.”

Anyone living in the block can become a member of the scheme. They pay for their shopping using a points system - with £4 of points buying around £20 of food.

Threehills Larder is a flagship project from charity Good Food Scotland, who work with supermarkets and food distribution companies to collect donations of unsold food that is still high quality and safe to eat, cutting food waste and ensuring people are able to put food on the table. They have partnered with major supermarkets, including Morrisons, Tesco and Lidl.

A permanent supermarket is planned for early next year and Mary is planning on volunteering when it opens.

She said: “It is nice to give something back and it gets you out.”

Threehill’s Pauline Gilgallan said: “We are incredibly pleased to see the very real difference such a provision is making in the area. We have our regulars now that pop in on an almost daily basis for their tins of soup, a loaf of bread, some potatoes or onions, a prepared salad or some pasta sauce.

“The main aims of the larder are to reduce the pressure on households who are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table, before the need for food banks or food parcels arises. We also massively improve their access to affordable, nutritious food. We strive to give dignity and choice in shopping for food by supplying subsidised food in a normal supermarket environment.

“We are receiving very positive feedback from our customers - and are pleased that some even stay a while for a chat.”

The block of flats at 415 Nitshill Road has been specially designed to allow older people to live independently for longer. It includes a garden room, a new lounge and kitchen, fitness and wellbeing suite.

GHA Locality Director Ann-Marie Fontana said: “We are committed to helping our tenants in every way – from help with food to saving the environment. It is great to help such an innovative and important community project set up in the heart of our community, and I love hearing about the difference it is making already.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2021