Café ordered to remove free food after single complaint to council

A killyjoy council ordered a café to remove free food for families struggling with the rising cost of living from outside its premises – after just a single complaint about it.

The Green Tree House Food Club and Tea Room operates as a tea room and a social supermarket where shoppers can pick up 10 items of food, toiletries, and household essentials for just £5.

The café, in Biddulph, Staffordshire, had also been leaving free surplus food donated by Sainsbury’s and Morrisons outside the premises.

But that had to stop, following a visit from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

Operator Amanda Beech told StokeonTrentLive: “We set up the food club to help people struggling for food through Covid and now obviously with the cost of living we are needed even more.

“It makes me really sad because a lot of people rely on that food.

“We can put it inside the shop but that means that people have to come into the shop in front of other people and that might make them feel uncomfortable and we didn’t want that.

“We just wanted people to be able to walk past and just pick up and go so nobody noticed them because there is a lot of stigma around this subject.

“So it is a shame that somebody has taken that away from people.”

Amanda has removed the free food following the council’s visit.

A council spokesperson said: “Staffordshire Moorlands District Council contacted The Green Tree House Café in response to a complaint received from Staffordshire County Council relating to tables and chairs being left out on the pavement.

“Staffordshire Moorlands District Council advised the café that they would need to apply for a pavement licence for the furniture.

“At no time did Staffordshire Moorlands District Council advise the café that they had to stop giving donations.”

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