Real Junk Food: Feed Bellies Not Bins

I can hardly move. I have just had the most amazing lunch.  No, it wasn’t with your usual Friday crowd, in one of the more fashionable eating joints in Brighton.  It was at the Real Junk Food café at the One Church in Gloucester Place.

Junk Food ProjectThe Real Junk Food Project is part of the Real Junk Food Project network, created by Adam Smith. It is a national and international movement of cafes, projects and pop-ups with one core objective:

To intercept food waste destined for land fill and use it to feed people who need it, on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis.

The website explains more: “A quarter to a third of food produced globally, is wasted. And yet, there’s estimated to be 795 million people who do not get enough to eat. In the UK, 2 million people are estimated to be malnourished, while the UK as a whole creates an estimated 15 million tonnes of food waste every year. The Real Junk Food Project wants to find a solution by bringing two problems together; to use food that was previously thought of as ‘surplus’ to feed people who may have otherwise gone hungry.”

I was encouraged to go by my friends, Barbra and Paul, who are centrally involved in the Friday café. They said I wouldn’t be disappointed.  On the contrary, I enjoyed a delicious and healthy meal.  The portion size was very generous, so much so I was able to resist the Danish pastries available for afters.

Barbra had warned me about the queue, but even that was a positive part of the experience. Everyone was so friendly.  What I particularly liked was that no one there was special, because everyone there is special.  No one has preferential treatment based on their social status or relative wealth.  I saw clients and former clients, friends and colleagues. We all queued. We all ate. We were all welcomed and treated with respect.

Do get involved, either as a diner (the innovative ‘pay as you feel’ concept encourages people to think about what that plate of food means to them, and value it in whatever way they can) or become a volunteer. As a volunteer run initiative, they always need more volunteers. Details are on their website.


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