Bridging the gap towards recovering lives with dignity.
Alva Food Larder is open to anyone who could benefit from help with food, kindness and signposting towards services in order to recover their lives with dignity.
We are open to the public every Friday from 12 - 3pm and you do not need a referral.
Financial donations are greatly appreciated and should be made out to Alva Parish Church on behalf of Alva food Larder.
If you could consider a regular donation you can set up a direct debit. This can help to provide the critical ongoing support for those who need it most.
We are always looking for donations of jars and tinned products.
Please consider picking up some of the following items.
Meat (Corned Beef/Ham/Tuna)
Long Life Milk
Fresh items and things that need an oven are not required.
Donations can be dropped off at the Church on a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday 10.30 - 12pm, or Friday 12 - 3pm.
We also have a collection point in Alva Coop
The Food Larder is as active as ever. The beginning of June marked one year since we first opened and in that time we have achieved and learned a lot.
We currently support around 40 people on a weekly basis, have links with over 100 organisations across Forth Valley and have a team of 33 regular volunteers. We have also united all three Alva Churches creating Alva Churches Together.
In June we attended Alva Fun Day to promote the Larder, handing out packs to kids and distributing leaflets. Despite the typical Scottish weather, it was a great day and lovely to see so many locals taking an interest and offering donations.
The Larder was represented at The Kings Garden Party to celebrate our achievements in supporting the community. It was nice to know we are making a notable impact.
In July we hosted a Frauds and Scams workshop run by Yorkshire Building Society, Alloa which was attended by 22 people. This was useful to both those who use larder and people from the Church who felt reassured by the extra knowledge regarding financial safety. A huge thanks to Lauren and David who were very informative and were a pleasure to work with.
We now have a biweekly Pet Surgery from Emma who runs Alva Pet Pantry. We had many people asking about help for their pets, and it’s not something we’ve been able to provide ourselves. Many people don’t consider animals as vital in someone’s life but from experience we have seen how important they can be to someone recovering from difficulties. Not only for company, the responsibility provides purpose and meaning to an owner, can improve home situations in families suffering hard times and give reassurance and hope to those who have none. Many people say they wouldn’t keep trying to recover if it wasn’t for their pets.
Emma will be with us when the larder is open every second Friday providing emergency food packages and advice for people who need help with the costs of keeping their pets.
I am thrilled to say we now have a Voluntary Project Worker, Gemma, who will be with us every Friday. Gemmarecently moved to the area having finished her Master’s in Public Health at Newcastle University.
“I’m interested in a career tackling food insecurity and, on a larger scale, building sustainable food systems across Scotland so that everyone has easy access to healthy food which is produced in an environmentally-friendly way. After studying this in theory at university, I’m really keen to get involved in a range of community projects across Clackmannanshire and Forth Valley in order to understand what is needed to achieve these goals locally.”
We are always looking for opportunities to connect with the community and are seeking volunteers to help raise funds and promote the Larder. Anyone who would like to develop fundraising initiatives or knows of opportunities to host donation boxes, distribute leaflets and raise awareness for the Larder please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A huge thank you to all who support the us, both financially and by giving their time and resources. The community has been so generous and it’s heartwarming to see that given the opportunity so many are keen to give.
As we head towards the one-year milestone Alva Food Larder is busier and running more efficiently than ever.
We currently support an average of 40 people on a weekly basis who come from all walks of life. Many are accessing our other services including signposting and energy advice. We have also noticed an increase in those staying for coffee, taking the time to relax and enjoy a break from their daily stresses. Some visitors now attend the Tuesday Community Café which offers free coffee and cakes in the Church hall for anyone who wishes to come along, and also Church service on a Sunday morning.
It’s great to see confidence growing in people who are living in circumstances that can cause them to lose self-esteem and their sense of hope. Attending social events can be really hard for some people, especially those who lack courage due to their domestic and financial situations, and it’s great to know we have created a comfortable environment for them to challenge this. We will always provide a safety net for those who need us but it is a bitterly sweet feeling when visitors don’t return. We have even had some generous donations from previous visitors who are keen to give back and show their gratitude.
In April we gave out forty Easter eggs kindly collected by Hair Care in Alva. These provided a treat to many local children including the Young Carers group who meet in the Church on Thursday evenings.
Beautiful Easter chocolate boxes were also given out thanks to Terry and Irene Goddard, and Irene’s hand stitched Easter cards raised a substantial amount towards the Larder’s funds.
Throughout March and April, we were selected by Yorkshire Building Society in Alloa as recipients of their Cause Collection. Customers and staff generously donated food and essentials and helped to raise awareness of the Larder in the wider community. Further partnering will continue in July when they deliver One Step Ahead, a workshop highlighting how to protect yourself from frauds and scams. This will be open to the public and very useful to anyone who wants to feel a little more secure when it comes to looking after their money, especially with so much of this now happening online. Details of this will be confirmed soon. You can register you interest by emailing email@example.com.
A huge thanks to all who donate and support us. We are only able to deliver our vital services thanks to your generosity.
Thanks also goes to every one of our volunteers for their hard work both during open hours and behind the scenes, where many hours are dedicated to organising and running the project. From stocktaking, shopping, fundraising and making up food packages to admin, publicity and finance, the team are passionately devoting great efforts and standing together to support the community we proudly call home.
The Foodbank visitor numbers are continuing to rise from an average of 29 people supported weekly in November to 48 in January.
The blankets and hot water bottles were very successful and more blankets have been ordered. The warm pack initiative was commended by many, including our Energy Advisor who still visits biweekly.
More people are staying for coffee, possibly due to cold weather. This has created more opportunities to engage in chat and allowed us to refer more numbers to other services including CAB and energy advice.
It has also allowed us to identify other areas we can signpost to such as those for veterans. We now have leaflets and information available for veterans in crisis.
Donations of food are still coming in but more people are giving financially which allows us to buy in exactly what we know the client group needs most, and through experience where to get the best value for money.
We have regular donors such as Cochrane foundation, Alva Baptist as well as many substantial collections from Menstrie Primary, Alva Play Pals and Little Doone Dressings.
A huge donation of selection boxes and advent calendars from Haircare allowed us to give Christmas treats to families. We also received some substantial monetary donations from individuals both connected to the church and externally.
60 3-course Christmas meals were purchased and handed out on 23rd December to be reheated on the day. Working with Local business Little owls we provided three healthy courses including extra selection boxes, chocolates and children’s sweetie boxes. Little owls gave us cost-price and donated their time and efforts, it was important to us to keep the money in the community and make ties with our neighbours. The results were very positive and clients fed back that it made their Christmas special.
Sales of gift in kind cards very successful around Christmas, as well as the sale of Irene’s embroidered cards, which will now focus on Easter and Spring.
We are so grateful for all donations and would like to thank anyone who has given us Money, resources and their time.
Hannah Ford – Alva Food Larder
The food Larder continues to be busy, with numbers increasing as we head into the Winter. We are now supporting 31 individuals on average each week with a peak of 41 in October. This is partly due to word of mouth, referrals from other agencies and the increased cost of living.
Many people have been talking about the rising cost of fuel as well as food, and as we start to turn the heating back on this is now becoming more evident. The larder provides Co-op vouchers for people to purchase fresh items such as milk and bread, and they can also be used for emergency fuel for those who have a meter.
We have a Fuel Poverty Advice representative who holds a surgery every second week and has also been speaking to more visitors to help them with saving power, organizing their finances and where they can access grants and funding.
The donation from the Church Harvest Collection has been used to purchase blankets and hot water bottles to create “Warm Packs” which will be available for all who need help staying warm. We also received a kind donation of beautiful hand-crafted blankets and shawls from the Church Craft Group, so many thanks to them.
The decision between heating and eating is a huge concern. The Church of Scotland has joined a nationwide initiative of creating “Warm Spaces”, where people can go if they are struggling at home. There is a map on their website of places they can go and we hope to add the Larder as soon as we can ensure the hall can be warm enough.
We are encouraging visitors to stay for a cup of tea. This is a good opportunity to sit and chat with us and potentially open up the conversation about the other needs we can guide them towards recovering. Many people are finding themselves in poverty for the first time, and with no previous knowledge of the benefits system or aid agencies are really struggling to know what is available. They may have worked all their lives or are now not able to cover their bills due to the rising costs.
We have created a booklet about crisis services in the area which is being given out to visitors, and our volunteers will become familiar with them in order to spot opportunities to make referrals.
We also have a range of leaflets on offer to help people progress towards financial and personal recovery.
We continue to work with Alva Baptist Church who have been giving us their donations as well as volunteers. We are also now pleased to say we now have contact with The Catholic Church and four members of their congregation are due to volunteer next month. it’s so nice for Alva Churches to be working together. This is a wonderful success in creating an Alva Churches Together initiative which could result in joint projects and support.
We now have "Gift in kind" cards for sale. These are wee cards which will cost five pounds and offer the buyer "a day of food for someone in need". The card can be given to a friend knowing the donation was placed on their behalf. You can buy these on a Sunday or Tuesday at the cafes, or from any of the larder team.
Thanks to the Cochrane Foundation for their continued sponsorship, and the generous donations collected at their singalong afternoons. Further thanks to all of the volunteer superstars who dedicate their time to making sure we can deliver our service, and finally a huge thanks to all who have donated food, time or money to the food larder.
We are so grateful to be able to support those in our community who need help and we couldn’t do it without you.
Hannah Ford – Alva Food Larder