A pioneering Leeds charity are piloting a new ‘freegan’ food scheme in Beeston this summer. The project will enable local people to get a weekly box of good quality ‘junk’ food that would otherwise have been binned, delivered into the community – and there’s still time to sign up, just!
The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) was founded in Leeds, now works across the UK and beyond, and aims to end the needless waste of surplus food. They intercept food that’s heading unnecessarily for landfill, and distribute it through a network of cafes, ‘sharehouses’, schools, and community box schemes such as this one. The network operates on a strict ‘Pay As You Feel’ basis, with people able to contribute as much or as little as they wish for the food.
This new scheme will provide south Leeds people with a family-sized crate of food, once a week, featuring a mix of staple and luxury products. The trial period will run between Monday 30 July and 20 August, with participants collecting their box from the Hillside Centre in Beeston each Monday between 5pm-8.30pm. Similar schemes have been a huge success elsewhere in Leeds, and across the country.
Participants are required to pay £40 to join the four week trial – to cover the cost of collection, storage and assembly of the food – and are invited to donate more, on a zero obligation ‘Pay As You Feel’ basis each week, if they wish. If successful, the scheme will continue on a similar basis, with participants paying £10 per week.
To sign up, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Then make your £40 upfront payment to ‘TRJFP Leeds CIC‘, sort code 60-83-01, account number 20361376. Places are limited, so sign up as soon as possible.
Local resident and campaigner Eunice Goncalves, who helped set up the scheme, commented:
“It’s mad that so many people are struggling to afford good quality food, at the same time that so much food is thrown away. With this scheme, everybody benefits. Please sign up – if you want some good affordable food, or if you simply just believe in TRJFP aim to ‘feed bellies not bins’. And please spread the word too, so this can become established locally.”
For more information about The Real Junk Food Project, visit their website, or their Leeds FB page; for more info on the ‘Freegan’ Box Project, click here. The Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – a UK charity and campaign body – estimates that 1.9m tons of food is wasted by the UK food industry every year, with about a fifth of that (400,000 tonnes) suitable for redistribution. TRJFP have so far shared an estimated 1,167,000+ kg (1,167+ tonnes) of food with over 44,000 people, since 2013.