Food Waste Stories

the real junk food project

Tuesday 9th June 2015

The Real Junk Food Project, founded on 22 February 2013, is a collaborative effort between volunteers and catering professionals to obtain edible food that would be, otherwise, thrown away and never reach a plate. A small desire for change has created cafes that try to place a new value on food.


Founds and co-directors Adam Smith and Johanna Hewitt started The Real Junk Food project in Melbourne, Australia, with portable barbeques, but it didn’t take long for the first café to open in Leeds. Currently piloting a new café in the Adult Education College in Leicester, the hopes of the workers to officially open at the end of the month stand strong.


Their seventeen cities with cafes around the UK area obtain leftover food thrown away by restaurants, supermarkets, and cafes and create them into delicious meals. The Real Junk Food Project prides on the fact that all the food they obtain and serve would have been destined for a landfill and works on a “Pay-as-you-feel” policy. From the words of Mr. Smith, “Our system transcends monetary transactions and liberates people to use their skills and attributes as well as money to pay for their meals.”


Within the last year, The Real Junk Food Project has intercepted 32 tonnes of food that would have ended up in landfill and created 18138 meals for thousands for hungry customers.


Every café seeks the help of donations and is always in need of surplus and unused food in addition to the volunteers that are the heart of the operation. You can find each of their locations and see how you can get involved at:  


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