Pay-as-you-feel cafe makes most of landfill food

From The Argus

Real Junk Food

CHEFS are creating dishes from ingredients destined for landfill at the first “pay-as-you-feel” community cafe in Brighton.

Based at One Church, Gloucester Place, the weekly cafe celebrated its launch event on Friday, February 20, by inviting the hungry and the eco-conscious in equal measure.

Currently known as The Real Junk Food Project Brighton Cafe, the chefs take food that can no longer be sold in supermarkets and turn it into healthy meals. Director Adam Buckingham, 29, said: “We collect food from various places, but usually anywhere that is kind enough to donate it to us.

“We are trained chefs so we know how to trust our senses – our knowledge isn’t based upon what date it says on the packet.

“Our aim is to abolish waste and highlight the scale of the problem so we can sustainably get to a zero-waste future.”

A big part of the appeal is that those with nothing can still eat at the cafe.

Mr Buckingham added: “The pay-as-you-feel system values the individual because everyone deserves to eat and everyone has something to give, be it their time, their effort, their ideas or their inspiration.

“We want to encourage people to think about what that plate of food means to them and what they can give as an individual.”

Customers who attended the launch event praised the quality of the food on offer and voiced their support for the idea and aims of the project. Chloe Thwaites, 27, a primary school teacher from Worthing, said: “What’s so incredible is that this food would have been in a landfill.

“It’s fresh, it’s gorgeous and I couldn’t tell the difference.

“I think cafes like this work really well and should be more widespread.”

Anne Weinhold, 35, who works at Sussex Wildlife Trust, added: “It’s a very fair pricing system. Those who can afford to pay, pay. Those who can’t get a free and wholesome meal.”

Currently staffed entirely by volunteers The Real Junk Food Project Brighton Cafe is expected to be open at One Church every Friday from 1pm to 3pm, but is looking for a more permanent home so it can be open for the whole week.

For more details visit facebook.com/pages/The-Real-Junk-Food-Project-Brighton/246123485595051

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