Frequently Asked Questions
Do you feed ‘homeless people’ or the ‘needy’?
We don’t just feed ‘homeless people’, ‘the needy’, nor do we just feed asylum seekers, refugees, or whoever. We feed everyone.
In order for us to prove the value and safety of food waste, we couldn’t just feed specific demographics of people. We believe food waste is absolutely fit for human consumption and so that’s who we feed – human beings.
Do you get your food from supermarkets?
We receive from various sources, many of which are not featured in mainstream media. They include allotments, food banks, restaurants, cafés, food photographers, events and functions.
The trustees of the Real Junk Food Project Charitable Foundation have spent many hours in meetings with managers of various supermarkets, but at this point no supermarkets supply food to the whole Real Junk Food Project network.
There are, however, some local success stories of individual Pay As You Feel member cafés having access to supermarket waste across the UK, and we hope to role this out nationally as soon as possible.
Do you take/serve food past its expiration date?
Every single Pay As You Feel café that is part of the Real Junk Food Project network adheres to all Environmental Health regulations within their respective establishment. This includes transporting food safely, storing it safely, cooking and re-heating it safely.
A majority of our cafés in the UK have a 3 or more star rating from their local health authority.
Some of our member cafés have experienced chefs with decades of experience in the catering and hospitality industry working for them.
For example, Adam Smith, the founder of the Real Junk Food Project, is a level 3 qualified chef. He has 10 years experience around the world working in high level kitchens, including running several kitchens as a head chef in Australia and the UK.
We intercept food that is past its expiration date and use our own judgement on whether we believe the food is fit for human consumption or not, by smelling it, tasting it and visually inspecting it. We do not turn food away simply because it has ‘expired’, but we will never serve food that we believe is unfit for human consumption.
Are you breaking the law?
We are challenging the grey areas within food laws and regulations in order for common sense to prevail when dealing with food. We feed food past its expiration date to the general public, but we do not sell this produce.
Every single member of the Real Junk Food Project network operates a Pay As You Feel concept, which allows patrons to give back either financial donations, their time, energy or skills as a way of accessing the food, and to understand the value of the produce.
How do I start a café or get involved in my local café?
We can provide a Starter Pack which guides those inquiring about starting a Pay As You Feel café through the chronological examples of how others have gone away and started a café. There is no one right way in doing this.
To get involved in your local café, just get in touch with them via the Cafés page.