The Breadline Challenge- Helen Tandy and Castlefield

Over the last few years, ever since I was encouraged by one of my clients at Castlefield Advisory Partner in Oxford I have made a habit of dedicating one week of the year to finishing the breadline challenge.


The Breadline Challenge is a campaign to raise awareness of what it can be like to be hungry in Britain today.


The Breadline Challenge asks you to try to live on a £2.50 budget per day for food and drink for a week this November to raise money for the work FoodCycle does across the United Kingdom.


It’s generally been something I have done alone but some of my work colleagues in Manchester are joining me on this years challenge which raises money for Foodcycle.


The aim is to raise funds through donations and also by taking part to personally to donate what you have saved by living off your £2.50 budget.

FoodCycle runs volunteer-powered community projects across the UK – all working to reduce food poverty and social isolation by serving tasty, nutritious meals to vulnerable people.

They started cooking in May 2009, volunteers have served over 125,000 meals made using over 146,000kg of surplus food – the equivalent saving of 657,000kg CO2 emissions.


I hope to raise £300 this year in order to better my total from last year of £270.


  • £50 –is enough to provide an entire Foodcyle dining session – feeding 30-50 people a nutritious meal in a warm and welcoming environment.
  • £100.00 – is enough to transport around 500kg of food – which Foodcycle volunteers will turn into over 800 three-course meals for people in need and provide our guests with extra fruit and veg to take home.


We started a bit late this year as I and some of the team had been on a conference but still plan to do the full 7 days.

I appreciate just raising money for a week isn’t going to end the problem of homelessness and food poverty in the UK, but I hope it can raise awareness and help Foodcycle with its work which is entirely funded by donations.


Most of us are lucky and don’t need to budget, I can choose to buy organic, Fairtrade ingredients. I am trying to see how I find the budget and still stick to some of these principles. I am lucky in some ways as I don’t eat meat, although I do enjoy my cheese and the cheap cheese slices I have had to resort to eating are not great to say the least, although I suppose this is all a part of the challenge. Its nearly half way through the challenge and part of my days 3 meals are already planned having cooked far too much Vegan Chilli. this is coming in at around 39p a portion, using some Suma Wholefood ingredients, some reduced price veg and lovely dirty carrots straight from a local farm.


My Breadline Menu

Day one

Croissant – 80p (busy few days and hadn’t managed to plan)

Cheese slice & Lettuce sandwich – 2 slices reduced price bread – 34p

Noodles and Frozen Stir Fry Veg – reduced price noodles – 75p

Organic Clipper Earl Grey Tea (2 bags) – 7p

Total – £1.96

Day two

Toast and peanut butter – 9p

Noodles and Frozen Stir Fry Veg – reduced price noodles – 75p

1 portion of the Chilli, it was so good – 39p

Aldi Fairtrade Chocolate and Popcorn Kernel’s, for my sweet tooth 34p

Organic Clipper Earl Grey Tea (3 bags) – 10p

Total – £1.67


If you have any questions about the Breadline Challenge, have a look at Breadline’s FAQ sheet or email them at


I have set up a Virgin Money Giving page  – please help me raise funds visit  where you can also sponsor the Castlefield team online.
Don’t forget to tick the box to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation if you’re a UK tax payer. Virgin Money Giving will pass this on in full to charity, making your donation go even further.

Thanks for your support,