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
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.