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Manchester chippy’s free food board still feeding families two years on

Home » News » Manchester chippy’s free food board still feeding families two years on
The Mod Cod

A fish and chip shop in Manchester continues to provide hundreds of free meals every month two years after its owner launched a pay it forward scheme. 

Fourth generation frier Spencer Cartwright opened The Mod Cod in Middleton in June 2022 with his uncle and immediately introduced a board offering meals to anyone in need. There is no limit on the number of meals available, with customers able to ask for chips, peas and either gravy or curry sauce plus a bottle of water, six days a week Monday to Saturday. 

Having lost track of how many free meals have been taken from the board, Spencer says on busy days he has been known to serve up to 16 orders.  

“We’ve got a board up in the shop that explains what we do and what is available,” says Spencer. “Customers simply come to the till, ask for a meal off the board and we serve them. No questions, no judgment.

“I just want to help our local community. We know that people are struggling more now than they ever have and money is so tight so we are trying to be a staple in our community and help however we can.

“We’ve had regular customers who have had to use the board, we always say yes, we never say no. It’s amazing for us to know people aren’t going without because of the board, but it’s sad in the sense that we have seen so many people have to use it.”

The Mod Cod

While the food board relies primarily on funding from the business, customers often make donations which Spencer is deeply appreciative of, particularly given the ongoing challenge of rising costs.

“When we started two years ago, a bag of potatoes was £6 and now we are looking at the £18 mark. It’s getting harder for us, but I just think of our customers because we have them to thank: the loyal hardcore regulars who keep us going. We wouldn’t get by without them. I’m always saying that by us feeding them, they are feeding and supporting our families at home – my family and my team’s families.”

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