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Now diners can eat food going spare

14 November 2014


Interceptors: Duncan Milwain, director of the Shipley Food Project, with Liz Firth, from Wellsprings Together in Bradford, at the launch of the project, last month 

Interceptors: Duncan Milwain, director of the Shipley Food Project, with Liz Firth, from Wellsprings Together in Bradford, at the launch of the proj...

CHRISTIAN groups in Bradford are coming together to launch the West Yorkshire city's first "pay as you feel" café next month.

The Saltaire Canteen, close to the Saltaire World Heritage Site, will use "junk" food that would otherwise go into landfill or anaerobic digesters to target diners who cannot afford usual restaurant prices - or to pay anything at all.

The venture is run by the Shipley Food Project, which seeks to help the increasing number of people facing food poverty. It also runs a distribution centre for the Trussell Trust-run Bradford North food bank, and Cooks' Clubs, which encourages solitary people having difficulty looking after themselves to cook and eat a meal with others.

Initially, the canteen will use waste food already collected by the Real Junk Food café, a similar volunteer-run enterprise in Leeds, but eventually it will source its supplies from local businesses. Fifteen million tonnes of food is estimated to be wasted in the UK each year.

Angus McNab, one of the scheme's organisers said: "Intercepted food, which would otherwise be discarded, is not food which is inedible. A lot of businesses are desperate to find uses for it, but current internal practices say that has to be disposed off because it has gone past a nominal date - not the use-by date, but the best-before date.

"We are tapping into an almost limitless resource. Companies pay for it to go to landfill; so there is a benefit for them, too.

"Businesses in this area are already working with the Real Junk Food café, and there are systems in place to identify the food and arrange its collection. The 'pay as you feel' basis not only allows people to eat who cannot afford to pay, but it also gives others a chance to donate. We hope the café will eventually make a profit, which will assist other activities that will never make money."

The staff will include volunteers from organisations that work with disadvantaged people to help them become more employable.



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