By Lisa Campbell
The founder of a quietly-growing empire of social cafes has called on a change in the law to prevent the UK’s “criminal” levels of food waste – especially by supermarkets – while so many go hungry.
Adam Smith, founder of The Real Junk Food Project, in Armley, Leeds, feeds his punters on goods that would otherwise have been thrown away by supermarkets, independent grocers and food banks. The 29-year-old trained chef cooks up stews, casseroles, soups and cakes with the unwanted food, charging a “pay as you feel” policy – allowing punters to pay what they feel they can, and if that is nothing, they can help with the washing up.
In just 10 months he has fed 10,000 people on 20 tonnes of unwanted food, raising over £30,000.
The cafe has had such resonance in a world with such high food wastage and high hunger levels it has inspired 47 other “pay as you feel” cafes to spring in the past few months in Manchester, Bristol, Saltaire – with the concept even exported as far away as Los Angeles and Brazil, Warsaw and Zurich.