18 June 2023
Spotlighting: The B&B Thing
What is a Social Supermarket?
A social supermarket is not a foodbank, rather it is an initiative that seeks to provide heavily discounted shopping to anyone who might benefit from it. It allows individuals and families to manage their household budgets by purchasing cheaper food, allowing the monies saved to defray the costs of heating, electricity,
or other overheads that might cause anxiety.
What is The Bread and Butter Thing?
This wonderful organisation was brought to my attention by Justin Madders, our local Member of Parliament. The Bread and Butter Thing is a national charity that is able to negotiate discounted food from wholesalers, rather than supermarkets, meaning that a week’s worth of shopping can be offered for an incredible price of £8.50. Warehouses distribute the food to us.
The rising cost of food - even the basic or supermarket own brand staples - linked with the difficulties of the economy, rising fuel costs, the war in Ukraine, and the post-pandemic fall out have hit many households hard. This past Winter and the Winter to come and heating costs have impacted already stretched budgets.
The Bread and Butter Thing is one such response: to ensure that people have the opportunity to rebalance their household budgets by making a huge saving in one area of spending so that the monies might be
redistributed to another aspect of household bills. It also attempts to de-stigmatise the discounted food service by making it open to everyone, without the need to be in receipt of benefits or universal credit, etc.
Volunteers at the Monday Social Supermarket, St Saviour ‘branch’ of The Bread and Butter Thing are involved in setting up and handing over the weekly food to those who have preregistered and selected a quantity of food appropriate to their household: individual, small family, large family. The time commitment is just a couple of hours and many hands make light work. If you see The Bread and Butter Thing in action, you may want to register yourself - anyone can benefit from these heavily discounted shopping, of particular help to everyone in these times of a high cost of living. More volunteers always welcome!
VOLUNTEERING: SOCIAL SUPERM’KT
How you can help!
Please share with your family and friends the initiative of The Bread and Butter Thing - the more people and families we have registered, the more secure our ‘branch’ becomes. I will be signing the presbytery up, too! If you haven’t considered it, why not try it - sign up for one week’s shopping and see what it’s like. You’re
not tied into a contract or commitment, and can opt in and out as you like. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what is included and also the ‘bonus’ items that are often available: if a wholesaler has a surplus of fruit, vegetables, eggs, etc they are often available, too! Please pray for all those who founded The Bread and Butter Thing and for all those who volunteer to welcome and serve those collecting shopping!
The Church’s moral teaching includes a huge swathe of social teaching that compels us as Catholics to seek the Common Good in our community. This means that we ought to work for and support leaders nationally and locally that - in whatever
political party or position - that actively prioritise the care of the poor, the vulnerable, and those most in need. One of the responsibilities of every Catholic is to ensure that we strive to live the Gospel and to be inspired by the teachings of Christ and
seek to show God’s love through our concern for each other.