Cllrs Barton, Maitland and McMahon visit Shortlees community shop

Shortlees community shop supports local people

Shortlees community larder and shop welcomed visitors from the Council recently to find out more about their work to support the local community.

Angela Keen, Chairperson of Shortlees Community Association, works closely with Vibrant Communities and Facilities and Property Management to provide the community shop, along with a team of seven volunteers, every Wednesday from 1pm.

304 local households use the shop, which includes fresh and tinned food, pet food and also clothes for sale for between 50p and £1. Members also enjoy hot soup and a hot drink, free of charge, each Wednesday.

Councillor Graham Barton, Spokesperson for Children and Young People, Net Zero, Environment, Climate Change and Equalities and Inclusion was joined by Councillor Jim McMahon, Spokesperson for Housing, Welfare and Poverty, Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Addiction and Recovery and Councillor Clare Maitland, Spokesperson for Planning, Human Resources and Property - to chat with the team at the shop, which is located within Shortlees community centre.

Councillor Maitland said: “I know the team at Shortlees community shop really well, having volunteered with them during the pandemic. Angela and the team are genuinely amazing, they work so hard to support their local community and to ensure that local families are treated with dignity and respect. By working with our teams from Facilities and Property Management, and Vibrant Communities and also local supermarkets, the community shop is able to support over 300 local households each Wednesday from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

“There are teams of volunteers across East Ayrshire providing community larders and food banks in partnership with the Council and all the information you need is available on our website Food provision sites · East Ayrshire Council (

“As a Council we recognise the impact of the cost of living crisis and particularly the impact inflation has had on food prices. We are doing everything in our power to support our communities and are committed to working in partnership with local people who are best placed to direct support and to help people and families affected by the crisis.”

At the visit the Council’s Climate Change interns – Natasha Caldow and Stephanie Graham-McGill - launched their Clean Green Eco Cook Book, which has proved very popular with the community shop members, with additional copies already being requested.

The cookbook, which was prepared with Catering Services and Vibrant Communities, contains affordable recipes for cooks of all abilities and encourages people to consider their food waste to help reduce costs but also the impact on the environment.

Councillor Barton said: “The Clean Green Eco Cookbook has been distributed to food larders, community groups and schools and is also available online. Shortlees community shop has requested further cookbooks as they have proved very popular with their members. The Leader of the Council also let me know that he has tried and a couple of the recipes and that they were delicious.

“The cookbook contains Cost of Living information, helping to direct people to additional support and also includes information about food recycling and reducing food waste.

“We know from our analysis of waste that about 30% of food waste going to landfill was avoidable and that households across East Ayrshire are regularly using their general waste bin for food waste so that is it going to landfill instead of being recycled.

“Food waste is a significant polluter. When food is thrown away, it rots and releases methane, which is a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere and methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide. Recycled food waste can create energy. Just two full food caddies can generate enough energy to power a cinema for a full movie. This is why we’re trying so hard to encourage our communities to reduce their food waste – the cost of food waste is significant to families, especially at this time and if households recycle their waste then we can help the environment by reducing greenhouse gases while at the same time producing clean energy. It really is a win, win situation.

“There is lots of helpful information on our website to help plan meals, reduce food waste and use up any leftovers."