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The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) brings its award-winning affordable food service to Warrington in partnership with the Warrington Food Network and the council
TBBT - one of the UK’s leading community food organisations - is bringing its innovative affordable food service to Warrington in partnership with the Warrington Food Network and the council, with support from key funders The Lyons Trust and The Purslow Trust.
The project will launch at Latchford Community Hub at St Margaret’s on Lindley Avenue on 12 November, providing access to low cost food plus a programme of wraparound services offering financial, employment, and health support.
For just £7.50, TBBT members’ shopping bags are filled with a minimum of £35 worth of items made up of quality nutritious food. Each week, members can access three bags of produce including fresh fruit and veg, chilled goods for the fridge, as well as cupboard staples such as pasta and cereal. Families can use their NHS Healthy Start vouchers and low cost period products are also available.
The service is created from surplus food - the sorts of produce that often end up going to waste because it’s wrongly labelled or there is simply too much of it. TBBT works with supermarkets, factories and farms in providing a reliable service to redistribute these surpluses, helping to reduce their environmental effects while increasing their positive impact in communities. As a result, the food available varies from day to day and week to week, offering TBBT members plenty of variety and the chance to try new foods.
With its community-centred focus, the charity supports other vital local work and works to provide wrap-around support with experts in other areas such as debt counselling, housing advice, mental health support and grant applications.
Mark Game, TBBT Chief Executive, said: "TBBT is about creating routes out of poverty and creating resilient communities. Our members tell us that over 80% of them have previously had to skip meals to feed their families. By using TBBT, most save £25 a week on their food budgets with the added benefits of better quality and a bigger variety of food. This leads to healthier lifestyles and puts money back in people’s pockets.
"We also build bespoke eco-systems of support for each hub, bringing in experts to offer help and advice in everything from housing to health, ensuring that we are maximising people’s opportunities locally - and the icing on the cake is that we save tonnes of surplus edible food from going to waste. It's a win win solution for communities and the environment."
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for housing, public health and wellbeing, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to work with Warrington Food Network to bring The Bread and Butter Thing to Warrington to support local families who are struggling with food insecurity. We know that many people locally are struggling to meet rising costs so access to affordable food is more important than ever.”
Caitlin Bold, Warrington Food Network Co-ordinator, said: “Since our inception just five months ago, the Warrington Food Network has been working to co-ordinate and develop food support locally. We are excited to be able to support The Bread and Butter Thing’s launch in Warrington, expanding access to good quality, nutritious food at affordable prices and welcoming a project into the network which will complement the existing community food support available.”
Within the last year, TBBT has doubled its reach from its Trafford origins. A second TBBT warehouse opened in County Durham in November 2020, new vans have taken the fleet to 13, and over 50 hubs are now operational across the North of England, including 16 in the North East and 36 in the Greater Manchester area.
Michelle Hayes, Community Centre Coordinator for St Margaret's Community Partnership, said: "We are thrilled to be the first hub for this project in Warrington. As a community, Latchford will benefit greatly from this project as we have many working families who will save money. Working with other providers is key to supporting people and this partnership will help so many people."
Joining is simple and there are no joining criteria. People interested in using TBBT’s affordable food service need to register as members and should contact TBBT by email at email@example.com or text 07860 063 304. There is also a sign up form and more information breadandbutterthing.org/contact-us. Once registered, members receive a weekly text offering the food service which they can then collect at 1.30pm every Friday, with the first week free of charge.
The service is reliant on the dedication and enthusiasm of its volunteers, with over 300 people giving their time each week to the charity, which won the Queen's Award to Voluntary Service last year. Anyone interested in volunteering at the new hubs, the Trafford warehouse or as a driver can find out more and get in touch through TBBT's website breadandbutterthing.org.
The Bread and Butter Thing is a community-focused charity that makes life more affordable for people on a low income, builds stronger communities, and reduces food waste using an innovative and self-sustaining approach to the redistribution of surplus food and non-food items. Its mission is to create a fair solution for people in poverty and its long-term aim is to address the premiums that people in poverty pay for food, loans, energy and other everyday essentials simply because of their personal circumstances.
TBBT was formally founded in 2016. It started with one van and five community partners. By October 2021, it has more than 50 community partners with further hubs dues to open in coming weeks. The charity saw a 460% increase in need at the start of lockdown in April 2020 and has seen a steady increase of numbers week on week. TBBT now has over 20,000 members across Greater Manchester and the North East. The average saving per week is £25 per household. Members range from young families and single parent families to refugees and the elderly. It regularly distributes over 100 tonnes of surplus food each week.
The Warrington Food Network was founded in 2021 and encompasses community groups, charities, faith groups, and public sector representatives who are coming together to tackle food insecurity across the borough.
The network aims to build partnerships, share ideas and best practice, and develop sustainable short and long term solutions to support the community and ensure local people have access to a sufficient quantity of nutritious, affordable food.
Find out more information on Warrington Voluntary Action's website at warringtonva.org.uk/warrington-food-network