Third Sector Awards: Charity of the Year Under £5m – The Bread and Butter Thing

Charity of the Year Under £5m – The Bread and Butter Thing

What is the charity’s aim? 

The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) aims to make life more affordable for people on a low income across the North of England. It is building stronger communities and reducing food waste with an innovative approach to the redistribution of surplus food and non-food items.

What does it do?

Founded in 2016 with one van and five community partners, by May 2021 TBBT had grown to 11 vans and 46 community partners, with more than 14,000 members. Members are recruited through community projects in areas of deprivation and pay a nominal fee for a week's worth of groceries, making the scheme self-sustaining.

Working with partners including Morrisons, Co-op, Amazon, Asda and Kellogg's, the charity provides weekly deliveries of food while ensuring surplus food is not wasted. TBBT accepts all available surplus, which encourages members to try new foods. Members save almost £3m a year and 91 per cent say TBBT is really good value for money, while 83 per cent say they can now afford to feed their family for the week, and 77 per cent now cook more healthily.

What has it achieved in the past year?

TBBT has increased its membership by 75 per cent while extending its reach into the North East. In response to a 460 per cent increase in need driven by the pandemic, TBBT relocated to a larger, Covid-19-secure warehouse, boosting capacity from 150,000 meals a week to potentially one million.

During the pandemic TBBT worked with Manchester City Council as part of its emergency food response, and with Trafford and Darlington Borough Councils to support free school meals for families whose children weren't in school. The charity has added to its offering with a range of vacuum packed family sized ready meals created by Open Kitchen MCR, and developed a voucher scheme with OL1-Oldham, turning each £7.50 grant-funded voucher into £35 worth of TBBT food for struggling local families.

What did the judges say?

The judges praised the charity's deep-rooted community spirit, strong leadership and “phenomenal growth”. “TBBT is a progressive and much needed charity, changing lives for the better and doing so much with limited resources,” said one.

Highly commended

  • The Care Workers' Charity


  • In Kind Direct
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