First of Five Council Funding Affordable Food Hubs

The first of five, Sunderland City Council has supported affordable food hubs by offering weekly groceries to low-income households at a fraction of high street prices. 

For just £7.50 each week, people who sign up weekly to become members of The Bread and Butter Thing will get around £35 work of food, including fresh fruit and vegetables, chilled food for the fridge and cupboard such as pasta and cereals. 

This is the second Bread and Butter Thing food hub in Sunderland as it opened in Southwick on 9 December. There is another that operates from the Pennywell Neighbourhood Centre which is supported by Gentoo and Karbon Homes. 

The surplus good food comes from supermarkets, factories, and farms and changes daily. While the content of bags changes from week to week, it will always be fresh quality fresh produce and members of the scheme will always pay much less than they would in the shops. Sunderland City Council is supporting The Bread and Butter Thing to open five new affordable food hubs across the city. The location of the other four and due to be confirmed over the next few weeks. 

Councillor Linda Willaims, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: “This affordable food hub will provide a vital lifeline to families who are struggling to cope with the spiralling cost of everyday essentials. We are delighted to be supporting The Bread and Butter thing to open five new hubs across the city as part of a wider work we are doing to support our communities through the cost of living crisis”. 

The Bread and Butter thing was founded in Manchester in 2016 and works with manufacturers, retailers and the hospitality industry to redistribute surplus food to people who need it the most. Its community vans regularly redistribute over 100 tonnes of food a week to over 80 community locations. 

Mark Game, CEO of the Bread and Butter Thing, added: “I’m delighted we are working with Sunderland City Council to expand our service and bring the benefits of our mobile affordable clubs across the city. Not only does The Bread and Butter Thing help people to afford better to feed their families, but it also opens up new foods and improves diet diversity, builds community with our fabulous volunteers and aids people’s financial situation by stretching household budgets that bit further”. 

There is no commitment and the scheme is free to join. Once they have signed up to be a member, people will receive a weekly text on a Wednesday asking them if they want to order. If they reply yes, their order will be delivered to the food hub at Austin House in Shakespeare Street, Southwick at 2 pm on Friday. People can choose from a top-selling family bag for £7.50, an individual bag for £4 or a large family bag for £15. There is also a vegetarian option.

Because the weekly bags are made up of surplus food from supermarkets, food manufacturers and farmers, the bag of food will be different each week. Most members collect their bags of food from the project and then top them up from the supermarket when they see what’s in them.

To become a member, apply here.