An initiative which has helped save thousands of people from hunger during the pandemic could be forced to shut down through a lack of funds.
Earlier this year The Haven yoga studio in Stonehaven was transformed into a community larder to help families in need.
Unlike a food bank, the scheme is open to everyone and does not require a referral to sign up.
It also allows people to pick exactly what they wish to take away, rather than relying on the contents of a set food parcel.
Its shelves include non-perishable items as well as fresh food nearing its sell-by-date donated by local shops to prevent it from going to waste.
People are also able to swap ingredients from their own cupboards for others and access free sanitary products as part of a project by social enterprise Cfine.
Since it was launched in May, more than 3,000 people have benefitted from services at The Haven, with close to 50 volunteers helping out on a regular basis.
But bosses are now concerned they may not be able to provide this support for much longer due to a lack of cash and diminishing financial reserves.
A £22,000 crowdfunding campaign has now been set up to cover the cost of rent, utilities, staffing and training for another six months of operations.
Founder Julia Morton said: “Our crowdfunding campaign is a critical moment for The Haven.
“In response to the pandemic, we transformed our yoga studio to address a rising level of food insecurity in Stonehaven and the surrounding area.
“Sadly, we received no rent break or reduction during lockdown.
“With our reserve savings now dwindling, it is vital that we meet our crowdfunding target. Without funding, we need to start planning to close the larder doors leaving vulnerable people in our community stranded.
“Meeting our target will allow us to keep our doors open for a further six months. In that time, we will be working to create a sustainable future for the community larder and aim to continue offering support to the Stonehaven community for many years to come.”
Mairi Gougeon, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, said: “The Haven’s community larder is a great example of how our local community has pulled together to support each other through these increasingly uncertain times.
“The community larder has provided crucial support when it has been needed the most, as the true impact of the pandemic is still unknown, these services must continue to have a place in our community.”
Information on the crowdfunding campaign can be found by visiting thehaven.co.uk