To help lower-income residents with the rising cost of living and food inflation, Kirklees Council is working with charity ‘The Bread and Butter Thing’, a mobile food pantry that increases access to affordable, healthy, and nutritious food.
Kirklees have identified food insecurity as a growing area of concern for a proportion of their residents, particularly for those in less affluents neighbourhoods with limited access to larger supermarkets. The council’s public health team has utilised internal and external data sources to map out areas most in need and have funded five Bread and Butter Thing mobile food pantries to offer surplus food to these communities, on a long-term basis.
Customers pay a weekly membership fee of £7.50 and in return are offered a full week of groceries, the scheme also accepts NHS Healthy Start Vouchers as partial or full payment. The food supplied can often include items that members might not have been able to afford, or better quality options that might have previously been out of reach. As the pantries are mobile, they offer a hyper-local approach to food provision that saves travel costs for users. The end result is that that members eat more healthy, nutritious food, and are able to use the money saved on buying food to pay for other necessities such as energy bills, housing costs, or repayment of loans and debts.
The council is working with the charity to integrate advice services into the model that are aimed at building financial resilience and wellbeing. This translates to support services being offered in the heart of areas that need them. Low-cost period products are also supplied, helping to address period poverty in the lower-income households accessing the Bread and Butter offer.
Councillor Paul Davies, Kirklees Council’s cabinet member for corporate services, said: “I am very excited about the partnership with TBBT and the launch of the two additional hubs. I know that some families across our communities are struggling to put food on the table and the cost of living crisis is only adding more pressure. These hubs will make a big difference to those families, not only by providing affordable, nutritious food but also by offering other kinds of support and advice.”