Darlington Building Society helps food charity on its way to a million meals

Darlington Building Society helps food charity on its way to a million meals

Published 8th February 2022

A £20,000 donation from Darlington Building Society has enabled food charity The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) to distribute fresh food to local families.

The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) launched in Manchester and expanded to the North-East in March 2020. Just as the first national lockdown was being ordered.

The charity’s expansion was made possible thanks to a grant from Darlington Building Society’s 5% Pledge.

A million meals

Nearly two years on, the council is confident it will reach the ‘million meals milestone’. That’s one million meals supplied to Darlington families by the end of 2022.

Deputy council leader, Councillor Jonathan Dulston, said: “The Bread and Butter Thing is a fantastic initiative that’s having a growing impact. The contribution made by Darlington Building Society is continuing to make a massive difference.”

The charity collects surplus food and staple goods from supermarkets and other retailers, distributing them at a discount price through community hubs.

The support comes in three elements:

  • a fruit and veg bag
  • a ‘cupboard bag’ containing pantry items and drinks
  • a ‘chilled bag’ of meat and dairy. It would all normally cost £35 but families only pay £7.50.

Darlington now has seven distribution points – at Firthmoor Community Centre, Skerne Park Community Centre, Elim Pentacostal Church, Corporation Road Primary School, Eastbourne Community Hub; Red Hall Primary School, and Windsor Court.

Plans for more hubs

Councillor Dulston reported that, so far, 650,000 meals have been distributed. This amounts to 257,000 kilograms of food that would otherwise have gone to waste. He also revealed that there are plans to open another two hubs in the town.

Councillor Dulston said: “If we carry on at the current rate, and manage to open the two new hubs, I’m confident we can reach the milestone of a million meals by the end of the year.”

TBBT chief executive Mark Game said: “Darlington Building Society were early funders and instrumental in bringing our award-winning affordable food scheme to Darlington. Along with Cummins and Darlington Borough Council partners.

“I’m delighted that TBBT has been so warmly welcomed to the town. We are now supporting hundreds of families each week, enabling them to feed their families healthy, affordable food. We also bring in partners to help with additional support such as fuel, debt and job advice.”

Sue Bartle, a regular volunteer at Firthmoor Community Centre, added: “Darlington Building Society’s contribution has helped so many people, many of whom were on the breadline. We can’t thank the Society enough.”

Darlington Building Society chief executive, Andrew Craddock, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that our donation to The Bread and Butter Thing is having a growing and sustainable impact. It is especially rewarding as it is helping so many families in the communities we serve.”

For more information about the 5% Pledge visit: www.darlington.co.uk/our-community

For more information about The Bread and Butter Thing visit: www.breadandbutterthing.org