The first food waste grocery store based on the ‘pay as you feel’ model has opened in the UK. The project is an attempt to help those people who fail to provide proper nutrition to their family owing to financial restraints. The customers can pay as they please, with money skills, or time!
A store in Pudsey, Leeds was set up by The Real Junk Food Project. The warehouse is filled with products from the regular superstores, except they are nearing the expiry date or come in a bumped or dented packaging. The project enables the financially struggling families to buy fresh pasta and pasta sauce, fruits, juices, veggies, and sometimes, even desserts!
A study conducted by the Evening Standard reported that more than 1.3 billion metric tonnes of edible food, worth nearly £230 million, ended up in landfills annually! Meanwhile, more than 795 million people have to strive for a healthy, nutritious meal.
Kirsty Rhodes recently suffered from chronic pain that rendered her unable to look after her three children. Her husband had no choice but to quit work and take care of his family. Kirsty regards the food waste supermarket as the lifeline of her family.
“With three young children and two adults to feed we started to struggle straight away. Luckily we took the plunge to go to the warehouse and it was amazing! We’ve even had baby milk on one occasion and our baby is 7 months so it was perfect.”
The trend of ‘Food Waste Supermarkets’ is catching on fast, given the environmental and public health benefits of the project. The project aims to divert the food from landfills into hungry mouths that don’t have access to a proper diet.
The first food waste grocery store in the UK follows the success of the pay-as-you-feel cafés in the country serving fresh meals sourced from ingredients that would otherwise have ended up in the landfills.
The Real Junk Food Project was started off by Adam Smith, and he plans to establish more such stores in the other cities of the UK:
“We’re about to start in Sheffield and Bradford. Every city will now obtain central storage and run a ‘people’s supermarket’ as well as Fuel for School.”
The Food Waste Grocery store near Leeds opened on August 29. Since then, the people behind the Real Junk Food Project have tried to keep the warehouse open seven days of the week, based on the availability of the food, to ensure that the local community is kept properly fed.
The team of the Real Junk Food, in collaboration with the local charities, tries to source (read rescue) the food that is below the standards maintained by high-priced supermarkets but is perfectly right for consumption. Just the type of idea what our world needs right now!