The Bread and Butter Thing launches affordable food service in Dewsbury

The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) launched its first hub in Yorkshire last week at the Chickenley Community Centre, Dewsbury.

By Jessica Barton
Monday, 28th March 2022, 11:30 am

The launch of TBBT brings affordable food to the community, providing low cost, nutritious food, as well as access to wraparound services offering advice and support on finances, employment and health.

Members can sign up to TBBT, where they can gain access to three shopping bags worth of food.

The bags of food include; chilled food, cupboard food and fruit and veg, which often adds up to around £35.

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Manchester charity, The Bread and Butter Thing launched last week at the Chickenley Community Centre.

Members who are signed up, however, can buy the three bags for a total cost of £7.50.

Last week, as it was the first week the scheme was running at the community centre, new members received the bags free of charge.

Laura Gavin, community developer and distribution officer at TBBT said: “It is our first week today (March 24) and it is already over subscribed, which shows there is a need for it and people are excited about the prospect of it.

“You can sign up to be a member, then a text will go out and it is a first-come, first-served basis on who replies to the text.

Volunteers arrived two hours before the opening to help unload the food and sort into bags for the members to collect.

“But if you don’t make the cut one week, you will get your text earlier the next week. We try to prioritise the people who didn't make the cut the first week.”

The food, which would otherwise go to landfill, is donated from high street supermarkets, farmers and businesses such as Amazon and Kellogg’s. The food is then distributed across all of TBBT’s hubs.

Laura added: “The cost of living is rising so people need access to slightly cheaper food.

“It’s all top quality food as well, so they don’t have to compromise on the quality or the healthiness of their food.”

Laura Gavin, community developer and distribution officer at TBBT.

TBBT has hubs in the North West, North East and now Yorkshire, and is planning on opening four other hubs in the Kirklees area.

Mark Game, chief executive of TBBT, said: “We picked Chickenley because we were getting such a warm welcome. It is really important that we find the right partnerships to start with.

“We got so much help and positivity from coming here that we just wanted to make sure that we started on a really positive foot.

“That's the real key for us because if we get really positive partnerships then we can share that with everybody else in the region.

The bags of food include; chilled food, cupboard food and fruit and veg, which often adds up to around £35.

“As we are looking for the other four in Kirklees, then they have got a really positive example that they can come see, touch, feel and experience.”

Chickenley Community Centre has been at the heart of the community for almost twenty years, providing quality services and facilities to help improve education, health and well-being of all local residents.

It offers activities for all ages, from youth clubs to pensioner lunches, and continues to grow and adapt to the needs of the community.

Paul Moore, community development worker at Chickenley Community Centre, said: “Over 80 per cent of people who are picking up bags today (March 24) are from the Chickenley estate.

“It is millions and millions worth of food just being thrown away, when we have got people on the breadline and who are starving - it’s just crazy.

“I am very proud that the council has brought this project to Kirklees.

TBBT’s service relies on volunteers, with more than ten volunteers attending last week's launch in Dewsbury.

“I am also very proud that we are the pilot project - it’s great news for everyone.”

TBBT’s service relies on volunteers, with more than ten volunteers attending last week's launch in Dewsbury.

The volunteers help unload the food and pack the food items into bags, ready for the members to come and collect.

One volunteer expressed how this was her way of “giving something back to the community”.

She said: “I think it will make a difference with everything going up at the minute.

“Everything is extortionate now and the prices are going up.”

“A lot of families are definitely struggling in the area - I struggle myself.”

TBBT will be an ongoing service at Chickenley Community Centre, Princess Road, WF12 8QT.

To join, text 07860 063304 with your full name, postcode and the name of the hub you will be collecting from.

For more information, visit https://www.breadandbutterthing.org/

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