Ronnie Stalker, Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for the upcoming Dalry and West Kilbride by-election in August, visited his local Community Larder to find out more about the operation and how it is helping to reduce food waste.
In the wake of coronavirus restrictions, it became necessary to look at food supply alternatives which assisted local communities to support their residents. Through a North Ayrshire Council initiative known as “North Ayrshire Fairer Food,” the Dalry Community Larder regularly provides a service helping residents access high-quality food at a lower cost. Unlike a traditional food bank, the Community Larder model does not require a referral and is not an emergency service. Instead, it operates on a membership basis and for a small monthly fee residents can choose food that is based on their personal preferences, and dietary requirements.
Often in politics ‘community hero’ is a word that can be bandied about just in time for an election, and it is all too evident that small children and puppies are never safe from politicians looking for the inevitable photo opportunity. However, Ronnie Stalker is the real deal and is a big man with an exceptionally big heart.
During the COVID pandemic Ronnie, owner and operator of the local family butchers 'R Stalker and Sons', witnessed first-hand the impact COVID was having on his local community. Understanding that his customers needed a food supply network Ronnie kept his doors open when the lockdown was announced, one of the only businesses to do so in the rural area, introducing a free delivery service and building on strong local supplier relationships the business saw a huge spike in trade.
Ronnie said “During the pandemic, we saw a huge spike in trade. We’ve had family members of customers from as far away as London contacting us to make sure their families could get deliveries to ensure they were well fed during this crisis. Helping people through the COVID pandemic is one of the reasons I’ve decided to stand as a candidate in the Dalry and West Kilbride by-election on August 12th. I understand the issues in our area because I experience them every day. I will be a strong local voice for everyone in this ward.”