Help needed for Christmas Junk Food Project

The acclaimed Real Junk Food Project in Stourton is making an urgent appeal for volunteers to help with their Kindness Christmas initiative.

The initiative is running all month until Wednesday 23 December 2020, and aims to provide families within West Yorkshire – who have registered – with a hamper of presents, and surplus food that otherwise would have gone to waste.

An astonishing 13,000 households applied – and although well over 4,000 parcels have already gone out, the team still have a mountain to climb before Christmas with over 8,500 left to deliver. Volunteers roles include: drivers to distribute the parcels to each household, and helpers in the warehouse to pack the parcels up.

Rachel Williams has volunteered weekly with the organisation for over 2 years, and said:

“I can’t believe how much this project has grown, and it would be amazing to have more volunteers to help us meet the demand. In particular, we’re desperately in need of drivers to deliver hampers anytime from 8am, any day up to 23 December – even just a couple of hours, once, would be greatly appreciated.”

The UK wastes an estimated 6.7 million tonnes of food, worth £10.2 billion, each year; this represents £250-400 per household per year. The Real Junk Food Project – which started out in Leeds, and now has affiliates across the UK – is a collaborative effort between catering professionals and activists, aiming to make an impact on those figures.

They intercept surplus food from a wide range of places including supermarkets, restaurants, wholesalers, and foodbanks – and get it to those who truly need the help. Since this summer they have been based locally at: Garage 1, Haigh Park Industrial Estate (off Pontefract Road), LS10 1RT; and in January they will also be opening an outlet at the LS-Ten skatepark off Hunslet Road. Full information, including how to volunteer, is online here, or on Facebook here.

Kay-Lee adds:

“Personally, I’ve been and volunteered my time to this fantastic cause in the past week, and I can honestly say there is nothing more rewarding, to be behind the team of dedicated individuals that strive to meet the demands required. It’s amazing that everyone is pitching in, but they would love for more people to get involved. Could you help? Do not hesitate: please give your time and Christmas spirit to this project!”


This post was written by Kay-Lee Asquith.

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