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"A fantastic offer": Low-cost food hubs across the Borough are on the way

06 September 2023
An image of the Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) staff and volunteers stood outside a TBBT van.

An image of the Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) staff and volunteers stood outside a TBBT van.

Low-income households in the Borough have been handed a "lifeline" with the arrival of new hubs from an award-winning charity to provide low-cost food.

'The Bread and Butter Thing' (TBBT) will bring five food hubs to the Borough thanks to funding from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Thirteen Housing.

At the weekly hubs, residents can buy three bags of fruit and vegetables, chilled food, and cupboard staples for £8.50.

It is estimated this helps save around £25 compared with buying the items elsewhere.

The first TBBT hub in the Borough will open next Tuesday (September 12) at the Salvation Army on Palmerston Street in Stockton, at 1.30pm.

A hub at the Victoria Park Community Hall on Peel Street in Thornaby will then open the following Monday (September 18) also at 1.30pm.

Three further hubs in the Borough are then expected to be up and running by December.

How do I access the new hubs?

Interested residents can register as members for free. All you need to do is text 07860 063304 with a full name, postcode and which hub you would like to collect from.

Once registered, you will receive a text message 48 hours before your hub's 'service day' each week, asking if you would like to shop there. You then simply reply to the message to confirm if you would like to access the hub.

Prices at the hubs are as follows:

  • Single bags with a condensed offer are priced £5
  • Standard three-bag family packages are £8.50
  • Large family six-bag packages are £17

Cash, card and NHS Healthy Start credit are all accepted as payment upon collection.

What do Councillors and partners think?

Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: "With the cost of living continuing to cause a range of problems for families across the Borough, particularly those on a low-income, it's vital to be able to offer this lifeline of food at a more affordable price.

"So if you're on a low income, I'd urge you to make use of this fantastic offer, which has been facilitated by our 'Fairer Stockton-on-Tees' team.

"Of course, this is in addition to the established Stockton-on-Tees Food Power Network, a network of more than 45 local organisations working to promote and produce healthy and sustainable food.

"And if you're struggling with the cost of living, visit our dedicated Cost of Living hub web page for information on accessing a range of support."

Mark Game, Chief Executive Officer, The Bread and Butter Thing, said: "I'm delighted to be working in collaboration with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Thirteen Housing to bring our affordable food clubs to the area - especially as we approach another winter when the costs of living will force people on low incomes to make stark choices between heating and eating.

"TBBT is about creating long-term, sustainable routes out of poverty and building strong communities. Our members tell us that over 80 percent of them have previously had to skip meals to feed their families. By using TBBT, most save at least £25 a week on their food budgets with the added benefits of better quality and a bigger variety of food. This leads to healthier lifestyles and puts money back in people's pockets."

Matt Forrest, Chief Executive Officer at Thirteen Housing Group, said: "We are proud to be working alongside Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to bring The Bread and Butter Thing to Stockton.

"The work of The Bread and Butter Thing in communities across the UK is fantastic and we look forward to seeing the positive impact the new hubs will have in our neighbourhoods.

"We are committed to supporting our customers and communities and providing access to affordable quality food is vital. With many struggling with the cost of living, the hubs will offer much needed support for families in the area."

TBBT works with supermarkets, factories and farms to redistribute surplus food which can often go to waste because it's wrongly labelled or there is too much of it.

As a result, the food available varies from day to day and week to week offering TBBT members plenty of variety and the chance to try new foods.

For more information, visit the Council's TBBT web page or the TBBT website.

For Council news direct to your inbox, sign up to our My Council Newsletter.

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