Ruth Downes from Fareshare & Will Harrop from Roberts Bakery in Christmas hats, holding loaves of bread

Source: Roberts Bakery

Ruth Downes from Fareshare & Will Harrop from Roberts Bakery

Fourth-generation family baking firm Roberts Bakery has launched its biggest ever bread giveaway to support families in need this Christmas.

The initiative will see more than 150,000 products – a mix of rolls and loaves – distributed with help from FareShare and Community Shop.

The big Roberts bread giveaway will see 20,000 loaves of bread and rolls a week – 10,000 via each organisation – going into the community for the next two months, supporting essential work at one of the toughest times of the year for families.

FareShare is a leading UK charity network which aims to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste. In the last 12 months, it has redistributed 54,000 tonnes of food to 8,500 charities helping over one million people.

Community Shop CiC, part of Company Shop Group, is an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise supporting the most deprived areas of the UK. It provides deeply discounted groceries enabling thousands of families to eat healthily and live well. Over the last 10 years it has supported more than 61,000 families, and used all revenues raised in the shop to deliver 174,000 personal development programmes, helping people gain new qualifications and return to work.

Head of Sustainability and the environment at Roberts, Will Harrop, joined Ruth Downes, head of development at FareShare’s Greater Manchester operation, in Openshaw to see the first batch of products on their way.

He commented: “Roberts has been baking bread for families for over four generations and has a long history of community support, but this is another level again. It’s the biggest ever mobilisation of bread distribution to good causes in our history and we are grateful to the teams at FareShare and Community Shop in helping us make it happen and bringing some much needed food poverty relief at Christmas.”

Downes from FareShare added: “We are delighted to be working with Roberts on this project. Ninety percent of FareShare charities are seeing an increase in demand, with 65% of those charities reporting more families with children accessing their services.

“Our partnership with Roberts allows us to meet the ever-increasing needs of our communities and continue to deliver measurable social impact across the North West.”