Worried about food? Don’t go hungry - we can help in a number of different ways.
The information below identifies a range of supports through the government, the Council and many community partners who are doing all they can to help ensure no one goes hungry.
If what you need isn’t here please give us a call on 01563 554400 and we’ll point you in the right direction.
School food and families
Many of our school kitchens are remaining open to help cater for our communities to ensure we can provide good quality healthy meals to those in need. We will be providing a range of options including freshly made microwavable meals, packed lunches and grocery boxes.
All children including those of key workers attending our school hubs will receive a free hot meal.
For those families at home who have income-based free school meal entitlement, been impacted financially by coronavirus (COVID-19) or for families who are self-isolating, we are able to deliver a daily meals service Monday to Friday each week, with assistance from volunteers, partner organisations and in partnership with Vibrant Communities.
Please register for this service using this online booking form. If you don’t already have a free school meal registration you can still get access to the service during these unprecedented times if needed, just fill in the online booking form.
If you have any queries that are not covered in the frequently asked questions below about our family meal provision, please call us on 01563 554400.
Frequently asked questions
Please see frequently asked questions about emergency family meals below.
All food is now being delivered.
We are currently delivering over 5000 meals daily from 19 production units around East Ayrshire. These include:
- 1409 families
- 3008 children
- 2060 adults
Community food larders and foodbanks
There are 11 larders in place within East Ayrshire supported by the Council with donations of food through Fareshare, local supermarkets and donations:
- CVO Kilmarnock
- Onthank NWKLEUS
- Dalrymple White Horse Inn
- Cumnock Juniors
- New Cumnock Working Men’s Club
- Drongan Community Centre
- Newmilns Additional Support
- Shortlees Primary School
- Christian Fellowship – Auchinleck and surrounding areas
- Netherthird Community Centre
Across East Ayrshire and in partnership between the Council and a wide range of local community organisations we have promoted a dignified food approach and our dignified food page provides more information and can help find local food provision near you.
During the coronavirus pandemic the Larders are a key contact to support the distribution of food in local communities and support those in need.
East Ayrshire foodbanks
From Monday 23 March, Ayrshire East Foodbank restricted its service and relocated the main warehouse from Darvel to Kilmarnock.
Should anyone wish to make a donation to the Foodbank at this time they can do so by handing in their items to WG13, West George Street, Kilmarnock between 9am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Someone will be there to take your donation but should for any reason the door is locked, the contact number will be posted on the door.
If you would like to make a cash donation to the Foodbank please use the bank account details below:
Bank: Royal Bank of Scotland
Account Name: CVO East Ayrshire Ltd
Sort Code: 834500
Account No: 00645364
Quote reference: AEFB2020
Existing foodbank distribution centres have closed to the public and we are now running a delivery system to reduce face to face contact between staff, volunteers and service users.
This allows us to co-ordinate staff and volunteer work hours more effectively. We are delivering to:
|Area||Delivery dates and times|
|Kilmarnock and Fenwick
|Cumnock, New Cumnock, Auchinleck and surrounding area
|Stewarton, Kilmaurs and Dunlop
|Dalmellington and Patna will continue to be supported by The Zone
||Monday and Friday 9am-4pm
Additional deliveries will happen as and when required depending on when drivers are available. Saturday and Sunday deliveries may be introduced as demand increases.
When you contact us for a delivery you will be given a date and time slot (am or pm).
Accessing foodbank services
We are no longer using the red voucher system since many of our partners have reduced or closed their services and we anticipate a rise in the number of people who self-refer and who have not engaged with our services before.
We will continue to accept vouchers held by referral agents but have not issued any new vouchers since Monday 23 March. Referral agents should continue to refer people who engage with their services however we will move to a 'Direct Contact' system where requests for a foodbank parcel should be made using the following methods.
When you register you will be:
- given a registration number
- asked to provide proof of your name and address
- asked to provide proof of parent/carer responsibilities on the first delivery if asking for food for children
As with many other services this is a new approach to delivery and we will review and amend this as the situation changes. We will also monitor demand on a weekly basis and increase our opening hours in the areas where demand is highest.
Please note times and dates may change depending upon demand and driver availability.
Contact the foodbank
If you need help from the foodbank, please contact:
Vibrant communities and resilience groups
Vibrant Communities have set up and are working with over 90 Community Resilience Groups in East Ayrshire. These groups are supporting residents who need food, someone to go shopping, collect a prescription or just for general contact and support.
A community support fund has been created in response to COVID-19 and, to date, £68,000 has been issued to community groups within East Ayrshire to help get food and supplies to those individuals most in need.
Vibrant Communities/volunteers are available seven days a week for those shielding to gain access to support and food. Meals and food parcels are created by our Catering Team and distributed thereafter by our Vibrant Communities workers and volunteers.
Shielding and support for vulnerable people
The government has issued letters to over 4000 people in East Ayrshire offering a range of supports due to health issues that means they should stay at home for an extended period. If you have received one of these letters then you should contact the Council’s helpline, 01563 554400, where we can offer a range of supports including food.
If you are shielding we can deliver emergency food packs containing ingredients which can be used to make a balanced meal or a mixture of homemade ready meals that you can microwave and support you to access the government’s weekly food delivery too. You will also have priority access to supermarket deliveries.
Local businesses delivering food
Many businesses from local companies to major supermarkets are continuing to support food deliveries, including prioritising vulnerable individuals and families. So if you don’t need additional support in accessing food, view a list of businesses that can still ensure you continue to access your food needs while staying at home.
Cooking at home
With everyone spending more time at home and with restaurants and many takeaways closed, you may be cooking at home more and want to learn some new recipes or just learn a bit more about the basics.
We have a variety of recipes and menu ideas and well as some helpful tips and booklets to download.
Menu ideas and recipes
Our Service Manager for Food and Catering has created video recipes for everyone to make at home and enjoy. See the video below and view more recipes on our YouTube channel.
Basic cooking information booklet
Download our Food Technology Information Booklet (PDF 4.34Mb) which includes advice on:
- food hygiene
- safety in the kitchen
- washing up
- kitchen equipment
- weighing and measuring
- cooking food
- eating a balanced diet