MORE than 150,000 bread products have been donated to help support families in food poverty.

Family-run baking business Roberts has supplied thousands of loaves and rolls, in what is its biggest ever bread giveaway.

The company, based in Gadbrook Park, Rudheath, has been working close with partners FareShare and Community Shop CiC (part of the Company Shop Group) in the run up to Christmas.

With more than 150,000 products already donated, Roberts will be giving away 20,000 loaves and rolls a week – 10,000 via each organisation – to the community for the next two months.

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

He said: "Roberts has been baking bread for families for more than 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."

The number of UK children in food poverty has nearly doubled in the last year to almost four million.

According to the Food Foundation think tank, one in five (22 per cent) households reported skipping meals, going hungry or not eating for a whole day in January this year, up from 12 per cent at the equivalent point in 2022.

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 more than a million people.

Ruth, from FareShare, added: "We are delighted to be working with Roberts on this project.

"Ninety per cent of FareShare charities are seeing an increase in demand, with 65 per cent 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."

Community Shop CiC is an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise providing heavily discounted groceries enabling thousands of families to eat healthily and live well. 

Ben Purvis, frozen and bakery buyer at Company Shop Group, said: "The tough choice between eating and heating remains an everyday challenge for too many people.

"Thanks to the support from Roberts, Community Shop members will be able to access high quality everyday essential products, and with Christmas fast approaching, this will provide much needed relief for thousands of families.”