A FOOD surplus redistribution charity, The Bread and Butter Thing is expanding its sustainable affordable food service across the region with four new hubs opening in March.

The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) started its County Durham operation in Peterlee last November where it has served 862 members, with collective savings totalling £21,500 in its first 14 weeks.

New weekly services will be now launched at St Catherine’s Church, Church Street, Crook, on Friday March 5, Durham Federation, Bracken Court, Ushaw Moor, Durham, on Wednesday March 10 and St Andrew’s Primary School, Bishop Auckland, on Friday March 26.

TBBT’s sixth Darlington hub will launch at Skerne Park Community Centre on Monday March 1. TBBT’s affordable food scheme is now available across Darlington five days a week. The project has been so successful in the first nine months that Darlington Borough Council has invested in a second van for the town, meaning a further five hubs will open in 2021 helping to make life more affordable for Darlington residents.

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

The charity has received a warm welcome across the region and expects to have over 20 hubs operational in the region by mid-2021.

As well as distributing much needed food, the scheme creates a useful point of contact for members to get help and advice, with partner hubs running a range of services alongside the weekly food collections.

Cllr Angela Surtees, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for social inclusion, said: “We are delighted to see that The Bread and Butter Thing has expanded its operation so that even more people can be supported through what is currently an incredibly difficult time for so many families in County Durham.

“The service the charity provides is invaluable, which is why we were happy to provide grant funding to help get the necessary infrastructure and dedicated team in place to implement its vital work.

“We would also encourage those who can offer help in any way, such as volunteering their time, to contact The Bread and Butter Thing.”

Mark Game, TBBT Chief Executive added: “This is a really exciting time for TBBT as we positively respond to demand for our service, offering support to communities across the region that need access to quality, nutritious, affordable food.

In addition, TBBT is creating new jobs in the area and is currently recruiting new team members. The service is also reliant on the dedication and enthusiasm of its volunteers with almost 300 people giving their time to the charity each week which won the Queen’s Award to Voluntary Service last year. Anyone interested in volunteering - at the new hubs, the warehouse or as a driver - can find out more and get in touch through TBBT’s website www.breadandbutterthing.org.

People interested in using TBBT affordable food service need to register as members and should contact TBBT at hello@breadandbutterthing.org or text 07537 416040. There is also a sign up form and more information at www.breadandbutterthing.org