Success on a plate for junk food project

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

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An innovative cafe served up huge platefuls of food for thought as it opened its doors for the first time.

The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield served up surplus and waste food to more than 100 hungry diners – and helped raised nearly £600 to plough back into helping those in need of food.

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

The pay-as-you-feel cafe was based at Sharrow Community Forum and drew in 125 people who dined from a menu devised from surplus, excess and waste foods which would have otherwise gone to landfill.

Organiser Jo Hercberg said: “Over 15 million tonnes of food are wasted each year in the UK alone.

“We saved half a tonne on Saturday with one pop-up and raised £590 at the same time.”

The project is headed up by Jo and a team of volunteers who all gave up their time to collect, prepare and cook the food and to save it from going to waste.

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

Chef Mat Rodgers from Sheaf Training ran the kitchen and turned out a range of tasty meal options with support from the team.

Food destined for landfill was donated by Food Aware CIC, Approved Foods, Forge Bakehouse, Beanies Wholefoods, Rose’s the Bakers, Sainsbury’s, Seven Hills Bakery, Catherine’s Choice, Just Preserves, Grace Food Bank, Banana Bob, Sheffield University Students’ Union and several households.

Jo added: “Can you imagine what we could achieve with a permanent venue?

“Food goes to waste every single day and people are going to bed hungry every single day.

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

The Real Junk Food Project, Sharrow.

“The success of the event shows that Sheffield is behind us in wanting to reduce food waste and we’re already looking forwards to the next pop-up.”

The Real Junk Food Project is a growing network of pay-as-you-feel cafes originally started in Leeds in December 2013 by chef Adam Smith.

Organisers intercept food that would have otherwise been binned but is perfectly suitable for human consumption.

So far the scheme has fed 40,000 people and saved 70 tonnes of food from landfill.

To find out more or be involved, please visit realjunkfoodsheffield.com or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Realjunkfoodsheffield, Twitter @RealJunkFoodS8 or email info@realjunkfoodsheffield.com.