Affordable food for thought as Royton church becomes latest hub for FCHO and TBBT

A THRIVING community enterprise in Royton is at the centre of an on-going initiative to bring a discounted food service to families on low incomes.

Bethesda Church on Dogford Road is the fifth hub chosen to make affordable food available to local people.

Bags of food at first ever TBBT and FCHO service at Bethesda Church, Royton

Pastor Geoff Goodwin and volunteers will be working as part of an £80,000 partnership started in November 2019 between The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) and Oldham-based social landlord, First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO).

The partnership strives to increase the amount of disposable income in FCHO tenants’ pockets, so they don’t have to choose between buying food, paying bills or buying other basics.

The affordable food service takes place every week at community centres in some of the most deprived areas in the borough.

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

Those with larger families have the option to pay £15 for a double order and FCHO’s Community Impact team will also hand deliver shopping to customers whose health needs may make it difficult to attend.

Pastor Goodwin also leads a variety of community projects such as a school uniform project, emergency food parcels and a second-hand furniture offering.

FCHO’s partnership with TBBT is one element of the wraparound service its Community Impact team provides tenants.

Lorraine Black, FCHO’s Head of Community Services said: “I look forward to seeing our new Royton-based service grow.

“I would encourage any of our Royton-based customers who would benefit from accessing TBBT to come forward by emailing us or calling our Contact Centre.

“If you aren’t based in Royton, you can find details of our other services on our website.

“The past year has presented many challenges and for lots of people, access to affordable food has been crucial and means our partnership with TBBT has been more important than ever.

“Using TBBT, is a win-win situation for everyone as perfectly good food is saved from landfill and our most in-need customers receive at least three bags of shopping for just £7.50.”

Mark Game, TBBT Chief Executive added: “TBBT never works in isolation. We build partnerships with local authorities, housing associations and community groups to ensure that our affordable food service can reach those most in need, whilst helping to build stronger community connections and resilience.

“As the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt, we know that an increasing number of people need access to affordable food, so our partnerships are an even more vital element of our work.”

Any FCHO customers who feel they would benefit from accessing TBBT are encouraged to get in touch with the Community Impact team by emailing CommunityImpact@fcho.co.uk or calling 0161 393 7117.

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