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Monday, June 27, 2022

Innovative food scheme helping struggling families in Darlington deemed a huge success

A food charity in Darlington is helping those on lower incomes and the vulnerable thanks to food bags offered at a fraction of the price.

‘The Bread and Butter Thing’, based in Manchester but with five hubs across the County Durham town at Firthmoor, Red Hall, Corporation Road, Elim Church, Windsor Court, Eastbourne and Skerne Park, has been delivering food packages worth around £35 for £7.50.

Organisers are hoping to have delivered one million packages by the end of this year – more than 600,00 food bags have gone out since the scheme launched in 2019.

The project prevents good food from retailers and manufacturers being sent to landfill because of overproduction, damage or slight imperfections.

TBBT works with a huge network of manufacturers and retailers who provide food which would otherwise be destined for landfill – whether this is because of overproduction, food imperfections or damaged packaging.

The council say because TBBT takes what is available and makes up food bags for members, they can only give out what is available at the time. The food will change from week to week.

Deputy leader of Darlington Council, Cllr Jonathan Dulston, explained: “What the project is designed to do is to save food with the big retailers that would ordinarily be food waste and bring it into a network and distribute it within the community.

“It’s all quality assurance checked – it’s not bad food, it is absolutely consumable and still of an exceptionally high quality. We’re encouraging people from across the town to take part.

“Ultimately this benefits us all by having more sustainable living and encouraging people to consume food that is otherwise be thrown in the bin.

“It’s open to anyone, that’s the joy about it. That firmly sits with our ambition to remove the stigma. We don’t want people to see this service as an indicator of deprivation, we’re proud that this is a service that is open to anyone.”

This includes everyone from South Asian communities who may find themselves in need of support or help.

According to the charity:

  • The annual food waste within UK households, hospitality and food service, food manufacture, retail and wholesale sectors in 2018 was estimated at around 9.5 million tonnes
  • This had an equivalent value of £19 billion a year
  • With around 43 million tonnes of food purchased in the UK, the amount of food wasted is around a quarter of that purchased by consumers for in home and out of home consumption
  • By weight, household waste makes up a whopping 70 per cent of all food wasted in the UK
  • 60% of wasted food could have been eaten

It seems 4.5 million tonnes of food generates 5.3 million tonnes of CO2e a year, which is the same as taking 2.4 million cars of the road for a whole 12-months.

Everyone involved wants to take away the stigma we associate with any form of foodbank. They hope it will also transform the way individuals shop in the future.

To apply for assistance Text 07537 416040 with your full name, postcode and the name of the hub you want to collect from (Harrowgate Hill, Skerne Park, Cockerton, Corporation Road, Red Hall, Firthmoor) and TBBT will get in touch.

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