Last week I attended the second Trustee Meeting of The Bread and Butter Thing, a new charity which works closely with food redistribution charity FareShare to provide parcels of assorted food items to people in need through two existing, Manchester-based, food banks – Compassion Foodbank and Emerging Futures.

The charity has successfully secured a small grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, to support its operational activities. The Esmee Fairburn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK and supports a broad range of charities across many areas from the arts and young people through to the environment and social change, as well as food. Otherwise, TBBT is entirely dependent on the full-time voluntary work of founder Mark Game, supported by his wife Jane. Mark has chosen to take 2 years out of the corporate world – he was previously Chief Executive of Company Shop – to ‘give back’ to society, but aims to create a sustainable model which can be replicated in other locations.

bd2 are supporting The Bread and Butter Thing by providing design and marketing services on a pro bono basis. We have helped develop the brand, designed and built a new website which is nearing completion, and recently spent a day with TBBT photographing the operation. This starts early with food collections from the FareShare warehouse on Whitworth Street and a new source, the Booths store in Hale Barnes who have recently started to provide the charity with clearance fruit and veg as well as bread from the In Store Bakery.

The produce is then sorted into bags with a selection for families and individuals who collect them from the Foodbanks. The scheme is based on a membership model and charges a nominal £3 a bag for produce which would cost tens of pounds at full price retail. In the first year, the charity is focused on supporting 50 families and aims to provide over 22,000 meals, although this may rise dependent on finding additional food sources.

As a fledgling charity, The Bread and Butter Thing inevitably faces serious challenges in all aspects of resourcing and funding. It is therefore, always looking for support whether that be from on the ground volunteers, community hubs and foodbanks who would like to get involved, food retailers and manufacturers who have surplus produce which could go to needy homes, other associated support such as transport and, of course, financial. If you would like to find out more about how you could help, please contact