Residents save more than £56,000 thanks to affordable food hub

Gentoo, in partnership with RE:GEN, opened Sunderland’s first The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) hub in Pennywell Neighbourhood Centre in November.

TBBT is a mobile food club that provides low cost, nutritious food and toiletries, as well as access to services offering advice and support on finances, employment and health.

Since opening, the hub has welcomed 827 members and sold 2256 bags of food, which is the equivalent to 64,431 meals.

Members of TBBT pay just £7.50 to get shopping bags filled with a minimum of £35 worth of quality nutritious food. Since November, members have collectively saved £56,400 on their food budgets.

Susie Thompson, Executive Director of Housing at Gentoo said: “We know from a recent survey involving more than 1500 tenants, that families across our communities are struggling to put food on the table.

“The results from our survey, alongside the number of meals the hub has provided in such a short space of time reflects the vital need for projects like this. We are extremely proud to be able to bring the project to the residents of Pennywell and it’s amazing that we can help provide healthy, nutritious food whilst also saving residents money.”

The Bread and Butter Thing now have five hubs open across Sunderland, making life more affordable for people on low incomes right across the city.

Rachel McMullen, Social Value Coordinator at RE:GEN, said: “It’s great to hear how much of an impact The Bread and Butter Thing is having on the local community. You never know when you might fall on hard times, which is why places like this that are free to sign up to and are open to anyone, are a lifeline for a lot of people.

“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to those who volunteer their time to run the food club – without you, that’s more than 800 people who wouldn’t have been able to feed themselves or their families.

“As our work to improve more than 1,300 homes across Sunderland continues with Gentoo, we hope to find more ways to add value to the communities around us.”

Mark Game, CEO of TBBT, said: “Our Pennywell hub has been very warmly received locally and I’m delighted that our affordable food club is having such a positive impact within the community.”

There is no joining criteria and it’s free to sign up. To register as a The Bread and Butter Thing member and to find out where your nearest hub is, visit:

You can also text 07860 063304 with your full name, postcode and the name of the hub you will be collecting from, for example, Pennywell.