The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) is a charity that makes life more affordable for people on a low income. Our mission is to create a fair solution for people in poverty and our 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.
To date, The Bread And Butter Thing has provided over 2,600,000 meals to families in need in 12 boroughs of Greater Manchester. And currently we are delivering roughly 12 tonnes of surplus food a week – that's about 30,000 meals a week, and 1,500,000 a year.
It's great to see that we now have over 4,000 registered families across Greater Manchester, working through 14 hubs. Collectively, our members are currently saving over £25,000 per week (that's about £1.25M per year). Our members range from young families and single parent families to refugees and the elderly.
As well as being financially better off, our members also enjoy improved wellbeing generally. 75% say they eat better when they access food from us, and over 90% tell us they feel more part of the community as a result of TBBT.
Our growth is accelerating. We are about to add a fourth van which will take our capacity to 8000 members, delivering to 2000 families per week. When all three vans are fully deployed, TBBT will be supporting up to 20 community projects and saving people and families in disadvantaged areas over £3m annually.
We have also just secured funding for an additional two vans that we will deploy over the next six months, so by mid-2019 we expect to be serving over 3,000 members per week and saving our members over £4m per annum.
We've started to grow supplies of food by developing a partnership with the FareShare National Food Team. Together, we can grow the volume of donations of food and develop both FareShare and TBBT's network of beneficiaries.
As our supply grows, we are looking to develop further partnerships with community projects and deliver more food and support to more communities.
We operate through a membership model, whereby our members with very little disposable income are offered the provision of a deeply discounted food service to help their income go further.
We target communities who are really struggling to afford the everyday basics. We know from our conversations with them, that they regularly skip meals and rarely have the luxury of household goods without having to make some tough choices.To reach our members, we develop partnerships with local community organisations that are in a position to recommend the services of TBBT and recruit members.
TBBT warmly welcomes interest from people and organisations looking to help us out.
We are always on the lookout for more food and non-food (such as washing powder or toiletries) donations, so if you think you may have surpluses that we could use, please drop us a line. We have a national infrastructure and can redistribute donations regionally and nationally. No donation is too small or too large. We work with several organisations, ensuring nothing goes to waste.
If you fancy helping out in other ways, get in touch! If you are based in Greater Manchester, we are always looking for volunteers that can help build and strengthen our offer – from helping recruit new members to packing bags with a team to more skilled challenges such as fundraising or social media. Drop us a line and let’s talk.
And of course we’re always happy to accept financial donations to help towards acquiring and deploying more food distribution vehicles – which are self-sustaining once fully deployed.
TBBT is a low-cost social and environmental model. The ability to operate without infrastructure such as warehouses means that it can grow as quickly as it can find supply.
We operate through a membership scheme that provides supplies for your fridge, your kitchen cupboards and bathroom. Working with our community partners saves a lot of time and effort for us as they can find members through their own organisations.
By contacting members prior to distribution, we know how many bags of goods are required each day, assisting efficiency and eliminating waste.
For suppliers, we provide;
It has been fantastic having The Bread and Butter Thing come to Gorton! At Oasis we want to give our clients every opportunity to thrive and live healthy and productive lives. The Bread and Butter project provides our clients with good quality, healthy and low-cost food helping people get out of debt and stay out of debt. It is also great to know our clients are helping stop food waste in Manchester! Seeing the smiles on our clients’ faces when they are looking through their amazing bag of goodies is a total joy! Thank you Bread and Butter Thing for supporting our community.
CEO The Oasis Centre
It’s been an absolute lifeline for me. I cannot tell you the difference it has made to my family. I save about £40 a week because of Bread and Butter and I spend the money on rent arrears and letting the kids do more activities after school.
The Bread and Butter Thing have helped turn my life around and helped me sleep at night and that’s huge. I feel less stressed, I don’t shout at the kids as much and we are all eating better than we have in years.
We all love Fridays when Bread and Butter have been – it’s a brilliant day and the kids get really upset if I open the bags without them.
I was on my arse when I met The Bread and Butter Thing and they helped me turn a corner.
TBBT member, Manchester
Manchester City Council values The Bread and Butter Thing and its contribution to reducing food poverty and food waste in the City. This is very important in Manchester where over a third of our children and young people grow up in families living in poverty. It is not just the impact of The Bread & Butter Thing on food poverty and waste but the way in which the organisation delivers that is important. Families purchase their weekly shopping, albeit at a reduced rate, preserving their dignity and avoiding dependency. The relationship with voluntary, community and faith organisations to organise and distribute the food is mutually beneficial and builds on strengths. The business model of The Bread and Butter Thing is sustainable which means it can make a long-term contribution to the city.
Head of Poverty Strategy, Manchester City Council
The Bread and Butter Thing is probably the best thing we’ve ever done for our families. It has had a tremendous impact in our school in a number of ways. First and foremost, our families are able to feed their children well for a lot less, which is just fabulous in itself as many do struggle to make ends meet. All our families who used to get food vouchers are now TBBT members, and the food is premium, the quality is outstanding. It’s like getting a present every week!
Secondly, because we as a school are supporting this project, we are building up strong relationships with some of our harder-to-reach parents. Therefore, when things in school are not going as well as expected, they can come in to school and it is easier to help and support them because of the relationship we now have, and we are finding that they really are engaging brilliantly with us now.
Another huge benefit is that our own children and staff are involved in the project. They are learning about food waste and they are also packing food. They love being able to give a bit back to a fabulous charity.
Lastly, as a busy Headteacher, it is a great way to be involved to help my families – but also for my own wellbeing. TBBT day is my favourite day of the week as I feel I am actually making a difference.
Headteacher, St Joseph’s Primary School, Longsight
When I first came here [for my TBBT bags] I came on my mobility scooter because my joints were that bad, but then I lost five stone because they provide much healthier food, so now I can walk more.
TBBT member, Oldham
Around here people have been relying a lot on frozen food, it’s hard to eat healthy meals; I think it’s affordability more than anything because fresh fruit and veg is expensive. The Bread and Butter Thing scheme has been introduced in our area and it is really helping the most vulnerable families.
TBBT volunteer, Hattersley
We work with many different organisations to deliver The Bread and Butter Thing, from the grocery suppliers through to the community hubs that receive the end result. Here you can find a list of our partners with links to find out more about them.
And a big thank you to all of them for help making what we do so much bigger and better!
Since April 2016, over 8000 members have participated in the pilot.
Over 1000 tonnes of food already redistributed.
Our members range from young families and single parent families to refugees and the elderly.