bounceback food poverty

After finishing his degree in business and economics, Duncan Swainsbury set up his own social enterprise Bounceback Food to help tackle food poverty.

The organisation started at a Christmas market in Broughton back in 2014. Duncan explains: “I wanted to set something up that would make a real difference to people.

“I was really inspired by the shoe brand ‘Toms’. When you buy a pair of their shoes, a pair is donated to a child in a developing country.”

His market stall used the ‘buy one give one’ model as inspiration to sell items such as pasta, rice, and canned goods.

Each purchase that was made meant that one was also donated to a foodbank. By the end of 2016, their donations had already contributed to over 10,000 meals in the North West.

He added: “I was just amazed at the generosity of people. I thought, how can we go from one guy at a market stall, to having a whole team of people fighting food poverty?

“There are all kinds of wonderful other things that have happened because of that first event in Salford.”

Since then, the enterprise has been teaching thousands of people how to cook on their community cookery courses, which have gone online through the pandemic. Half of the tickets are sold, meaning that the other half can be allocated for free.

Community cookery course. Credit: Bounceback Food
Credit: Bounceback Food

The dishes created during these classes inspired the release of their first book ‘Secret Dishes From Around The World’ last November, and the team has been working hard over lockdown to release the sequel this month.

The book features a range of recipes illustrated by the work of 20 artists, which were commissioned from across Greater Manchester, Cheshire, and North Wales, thanks to an online crowd-funder.

They’ve even created a podcast called Share Your Secrets which shares the inspirations behind the artists’ work, which can be found on Spotify, Apple or Google.

Duncan reflects on his journey so far: “When I set this up back in 2014 I was very hopeful that at the end of the decade we’d be in a much better place in regards to food poverty and reducing those numbers.

“Covid has just made it difficult for so many people, that it’s more important than ever in my opinion for the social enterprise and charity sector to be there to support people.”

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Bounceback Food is hoping to continue expanding its teams across the UK to help support more people in need.

This festive period they are looking to run a set of Christmas cook-alongs, where all the meals cooked will be distributed and donated to local communities.

Duncan has also been busy setting up Bounceback Education which operates using the same ‘buy one give one model’ for tutoring, open in Walkden.


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