The scheme hoping to tackle food poverty in Salford with a week's worth of food for just £7.50

  • Report and article by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Mel Barham


The number of people experiencing food poverty has risen dramatically over the last year.

Loss of jobs, livelihoods, increased fuel costs, and children at home, has seen many families struggling to put food on the table.

And while there are food banks for those in crisis, many people don't want to use those services but simply can't afford the weekly food shop.

It is a desperate situation that hundreds and thousands of people have found themselves in over the last year.

One Head teacher has decided to do something about it.

Dr Antony Edkins who is the former executive headteacher of Harrop Fold School and Manchester Academy, originally had an idea to raise enough money to feed 50 families in Salford over Christmas and Easter.

But that idea snowballed when he realised the extent of the problem.

I can only go on what families say to us. They tell us they're broke, they tell us there isn't enough money to feed the children. They're living on air and water and that's not acceptable.

Dr Antony Edkins, Founder of Salford Families in need Meal Project

He went on to form Salford Families in need Meal Project with the backing of local MPs Barbara Keeley and Rebecca Long-Bailey, Councillor Samantha Bellamy, Julie Larkinson (Eccles Rotary Club), Victoria Unsworth (Headteacher Barton Moss School) and Tom Marsden (Regional Director of Community Hire).

And from there they've teamed up with - The Bread and Butter Thing - one of the UK’s leading food redistribution organisations - to expand the charity’s affordable food provision across the city.

Food parcels being packed by staff and volunteers at the charity The Bread and Butter Thing Credit: ITV

The idea of the scheme is that they take surplus food donated by supermarkets or suppliers - and bag it up into three large bags of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy, and dried goods - enough to feed a family of four for a week.

It is a food parcel worth at least £35 but families pay just £7.50. It's a scheme that bridges the gap between a food bank and a supermarket.

Week on week we're still seeing a 10% growth in demand and people's reserves are running out. It's an important service we offer, we're helping them get out of that cycle of food banks and back standing on their own two feet.

Mark Game, The Bread and Butter Thing
The group have partnered with the charity The Bread and Butter Thing Credit: ITV

The Bread and Butter Thing already delivers its affordable food service at two local hubs in the area at Ordsall Community Café and The Olive Branch.

With 'Salford Families in need Meal Project' support, these hubs will relocate locally in April, expanding capacity and ensuring more local people can access the service.

A third hub – funded by Salford Families in Need Meal Project - will open at Barton Moss Primary School on the Brookhouse Estate in May.

But to do that, they need to raise £30,000.

Local MPs Barbara Keeley and Rebecca Long-Bailey have added their support to the project.

Really people are struggling. I've never known a time when people are writing in to me and saying they can't manage and the tragic thing is they're saying they're going without food so the kids can have food. That's not right and if we can help them with the food part of their life that's a really good thing.

Barbara Keeley MP, Worsley and Eccles South

MP Rebecca Long-Bailey added: "I think it's absolutely incredible what they're doing. I think sadly there's a real need for this.

"We're seeing demand for people who need support for food increasing dramatically in Salford because people's debts within their households has increased during the pandemic.

"And whilst food banks are available as an emergency stop-gap they don't tend to offer fresh food and a long term solution, whereas initiatives like this provide the fresh food to families and its fantastic."

Barbara Keeley MP and Rebecca Long-Bailey MP visiting The Bread and Butter Thing to see what the project is doing Credit: ITV

Dr Antony Edkins said: "Food poverty in Salford is increasing. More youngsters arrive at school each day hungry.

"Parents have to make difficult choices about which basic foods to buy. Some parents go without a decent meal in order to feed their youngsters.

"The Salford Families in need Meal Project wants to play its part in tackling pandemic-induced food poverty.

"We have been, and continue to be, blown away by the support we have received for our project."

Bags of food parcels about to be loaded onto vans to be distributed to needy families Credit: ITV

Over Easter, the project provided 150 families with free food parcels.

With the addition of this permanent hub in Salford, they're hoping to be able to support struggling families for months and years to come.


  • People interested in using TBBT’s affordable food service need to register as members and should contact TBBT at hello@breadandbutterthing.org or text 07860 063 304.

  • There is also a sign-up form and more information here

  • Members of the public, local community organisations and companies can make donations through The Salford Families in need Meals Project JustGiving fundraising page here.

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