A FOOD surplus charity is working with Hartlepool Borough Council to expand its innovative, affordable food service to the town.

The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) is a specialist charity that provides food businesses with a reliable service to redistribute their surpluses.

This helps firms reduce their environmental impact, whilst creating a quality, affordable food service for people on low incomes.

There are already five hubs in Darlington and the charity has now teamed up with Hartlepool council to open its first Hartlepool site at the Community Hub Central tomorrow.

The Hartlepool scheme will grow to take place every week at five community spaces across the area including schools, community centres and churches centred in areas of greatest need.

For just £7.50, TBBT members’ shopping bags are filled with a minimum of £35 worth of items made up of quality fresh food - including fruit and veg - as well as store cupboard staples from supermarkets.

Vegetarian options are also available.

As the service is created from surplus food, the contents vary from day to day and week to week, offering plenty of variety and the chance to try new foods.

Councillor Sue Little, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s adult and community-based services committee, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome The Bread and Butter Thing to Hartlepool.

“Not only will it offer people on low incomes access to quality food at an affordable price – which is especially welcome during the current Covid crisis - it also means that surplus food is being used and not wasted, so it’s a great result all round.”

Mark Game, TBBT chief executive added: “TBBT has come to feel very much at home in the North East and I’m delighted that we can expand our services in Hartlepool to support more low income families who face the daily challenges of making ends meet.

"As the effects of Covid continue to bite, we know that more people than ever need access to affordable, quality food and we’re proud to be working with Hartlepool Borough Council to support communities that need it most."

Within the last year, TBBT has doubled its reach from its Greater Manchester origins.

A second TBBT warehouse opened in County Durham in November 2020, new vans will take the fleet to 10, and over 50 hubs are expected to be operational across the North of England by mid 2021.

These will include five in Hartlepool, five in County Durham and ten in Darlington.

In addition, TBBT is creating new jobs in the area and is currently recruiting two new team members.

The service is also reliant on the dedication and enthusiasm of its volunteers, with over 200 people giving their time to the charity each week.

People interested in using TBBT food service need to register via hello@breadandbutterthing.org or text 07537 416040.

For more details visit the charity's website