A HATTERSLEY woman’s desire to bring good food to her area look set to spread across Tameside.
Emma Leyla came up with the idea of bringing the Bread and Butter Thing to the Hyde district after seeing how it worked in the Longsight area of Manchester.
Now hundreds of local people benefit from receiving good, wholesome food with tips on how to produce dishes from it.
And after the scheme at the Hattersley Hub and Library caught the public’s imagination, more areas of the borough are looking into the prospect of setting up a similar scheme.
Every Friday, Emma and helpers set up with a refrigerated van parked outside to pass on any meat or fish.
For just £7, a parcel to feed two people for at least five days is given out, while for £14 enough is given for a whole family of five or six.
A normal week sees about 300 bags – one fruit, one veg, one for the fridge – given out.
People are given the basis to produce healthy meals, rather than food that goes ‘ding’, and Emma admitted it has had a huge effect on what is technically a ‘food desert’ – which is defined as an urban area where it is difficult to buy affordable or good quality fresh food.
She said: “I saw it was already running in Longsight and thought it would be amazing if we had something like that in Hattersley.
“In the first week of setting it up, we had 179 applications – just the chance to make things and cook things, preparing meals.
“As well as health benefits, it can also knock £100 off the average shopping bill.
“Now we regularly help 100 families from the Hattersley area but we sometimes get people from other areas coming along.”
After catching in Hattersley and making, according to Emma, a real difference in both health and eating habits, the plan is now to expand.
“We’re looking at it,” she added. “Hopefully, we will go into different areas in Tameside which I’ve wanted to do for a while now.
“I believe this kind of thing is needed and other areas have already indicated they would be willing to have it, ones like Ashton, Denton and Dukinfield. Fingers crossed it comes off.
“I’ve noticed a difference since Bread and Butter Thing came to Hattersley. People are excited to see what they get and what they can do with it.
“It’s been a real positive. To get food normally around here, people just go to Tesco and pay £2 or £3 for grapes.”
Emma, 36, masterminds the food distribution from outside the Hub and Library and it is soon branching out into other things.
For from Friday, May 17, British Gas staff will be on hand to pass on advice about energy efficiency, paying bills and offering any additional support.
Food is perfectly fine items that would otherwise have been thrown away by supermarkets and anything left over after the bags have been made up goes to homeless charities.
“The Bread and Butter Thing has had a big effect, a good one,” Emma said. “It’s hard work but it’s really been worthwhile.”