Compass Scotland, leading provider of catering and support services, is partnering with West Lothian-based charity, The Larder to help tackle poverty and hunger.
The Larder was founded in 2010 to address rising youth unemployment in West Lothian. Since then, the organisation has helped more than 3,000 people access training and delivered more than 150,000 meals to those in West Lothian experiencing food insecurity.
The collaboration kicked off in December with the provision of community Christmas meals for local people at The Larder’s two Community Cafes in Blackburn and Broxburn. Compass Scotland assisted with the delivery of 'sit-down' Christmas dinners to the charity’s existing community customers by supplying and preparing 72 three-course dinners, served in the two cafes during the week before Christmas.
Compass Scotland also worked alongside The Larder’s social food project, Catalyst Kitchen, to prepare and deliver over 400 Christmas meals. The freshly prepared dishes were cooked, packed and delivered by volunteers from both Compass Scotland and The Larder throughout West Lothian in time for Christmas Day. The Christmas meals benefitted 300 individuals associated with the charity, with a further 100 being allocated to two local homeless accommodation units.
This year, Compass Scotland will continue to support The Larder via its Employee Volunteer Programme. Working with the Catalyst Kitchen project, starting early 2024, Compass Scotland volunteers will spend one day per month giving their time and knowledge to help the charity.
As well as preparing and delivering meals and assisting in the community cafes, Compass chefs will provide training programmes to further develop the charity’s hospitality skills.
Compass Scotland will also support The Larder’s employability programmes with work experience and site visits in some of its operations across the Central Belt. The programmes provide training on employability, life skills, and health and wellbeing, alongside learning to cook.
The partnership announcement comes as Compass works towards Our Social Promise, which includes the Mission to a Million commitment, to provide support to one million people by 2030 through jobs, training, community engagement and development.
David Hay, Managing Director of Compass Scotland said: "With people in Scotland facing challenges due to increased living costs, Christmas was tougher than ever for many. The greatest impact is on those on the lowest incomes, and so being able to support charities like The Larder is truly important to our business. We hope that the ingredients and work provided warm meals and offered some comfort and dignity during the festive season.
“We’re proud to continue to support this charity this year, reflecting Compass’ dedication to making a lasting impact in the local communities we serve.”
Angela Moohan, Founder and CEO of The Larder, said: “Our partnership with Compass Scotland has been invaluable and with their generosity, we have been able to alleviate poverty and hunger for more West Lothian residents. As the cost-of-living crisis deepens for more West Lothian residents, our partnership will bring a bit of happiness and fill the bellies for local people who rely on our services.”