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More low-cost food hubs set to open in Tameside

TBBT Regional Team Leader Rachel Reid Fernandez (left) and Cllr Eleanor Wills launch the scheme at St Peter's.

More low cost food hubs are opening in Tameside to help make life more affordable for local families in need.

Tameside Council is working with acclaimed food surplus redistribution charity The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) to expand its affordable food service in the borough.

A hub has already been operating in Hattersley since 2018 and now, thanks to external grant funding, the council has commissioned a new hub to open at St Peter’s Church in Ashton next Wednesday (14 July). 

The authority says further hubs will open in the coming weeks, at Haughton Green Community Centre and Ridgehill Big Local in Stalybridge, as the scheme grows to reach areas of greatest need.

Details of the further Tameside hubs, dates, times and collection details will be announced in due course.

For just £7.50, TBBT members’ shopping bags are filled with a minimum of £35 worth of items made up of quality fresh food - including fruit and veg - as well as store cupboard staples. Vegetarian options are also available.

As the service is created from surplus food, the contents vary from day to day and week to week offering plenty of variety and the chance to try new foods.

National manufacture and distribution of food generates edible surpluses that are often wasted.

TBBT team is expert in working with food businesses in providing them a reliable service to redistribute these surpluses - helping reduce their environmental effects whilst increasing their positive impact in communities by creating a quality, affordable food service for people on low incomes.

With its community-centred focus, the charity supports other vital local work and works to provide wrap-around support with experts in debt counselling, housing advice, mental health support and grant applications.

Councillor Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member responsible for public health, said: "We’re very pleased to be able to work with this project in reaching more local families who are struggling. Not only will it offer people on low incomes access to quality food at an affordable price – which is especially welcome as we are still seeing the effects of the Covid crisis - it also means that surplus food is being used and not wasted, so it’s a great result all round.

“The grant forms part of our wider work with Tameside Food Partnership to reduce food poverty and increase food resilience in the borough. A special thanks goes to all the volunteers who work with us on the project and who help to underpin its success – it’s a great example of cooperative working and the community coming together to support eachother.”

Mark Game, TBBT Chief Executive, added: "I'm delighted that we can expand our services in Tameside to support more low income families who face the daily challenges of making ends meet. As the effects of Covid continue to bite, we know that more people than ever need access to affordable, quality food and we're proud to be working with Tameside Council to support communities that need it most.

"Our members tell us that over 80 per cent 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, and we save tonnes of surplus edible food from going to waste. It's a win/win solution for everyone.

"We're looking forward to working alongside our local partners in Tameside to serve its communities and help support low income families across the region."

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 warehouse or as a driver - can find out more and get in touch through TBBT's website www.breadandbutterthing.org. There are no joining criteria.

People interested in using TBBT affordable food service need to register as members and should contact TBBT at hello@breadandbutterthing.org. There is also a sign-up form and more information at www.breadandbutterthing.org/contact.

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