A ‘junk food’ cafe that only serves food which is past its sell by date or has been rejected by supermarkets and restaurants is to open next month in Saltaire near Bradford. Those using the cafe will be asked to 'pay as you feel' - even if that means nothing at all.
Announcing the launch of the Shipley Food Project in Bradford, director Duncan Milwain (pictured left with Liz Firth of Wellsprings Together Bradford) told a conference for churches exploring alternative community food initiatives, that the Saltaire Canteen is supported by local churches and will be part of a network of ‘Real Junk Food’ Projects being set up across the country to ‘intercept’ unwanted food before it goes to landfill in order to provide nutritious meals for those who would otherwise struggle.
The Saltaire Canteen will open on November 29th on the former premises of Vicars Café and is a faith based initiative that will work with other local organisations such as the Bradford North Foodbank to help those facing food poverty. “We want to go back to people eating together as community” said Duncan, “and we will provide opportunities for groups to come together and eat together.”
With more than a third of food produced across the globe going to waste and 15 million tonnes of food being wasted each year in the UK alone, Duncan Milwain told the conference that the Real Junk Food project was trying to tackle the problem. “What we are wanting to do is begin to address that,” he said.
“We do that by changing our individual habits and how we shop. We do it by putting political pressure to try and change the way shops and supermarkets operate. And if we start using that third of food which goes to waste then eventually there won’t be people here in food poverty.”
The Family Food Crisis morning at the Thornbury Centre in Bradford explored a number of alternative community food initiatives and was organised by Welfare Reform Impact Bradford and Wellsprings Together Bradford, an organisation funded by the Church Urban Fund to tackle poverty.
Duncan Milwain is pictured left with Liz Firth of Wellsprings Together in Bradford who introduced Incredible Edible, the community project in Todmorden which has planted vegetables and fruit trees across the town making use of every available community space to grow their own food. Angus McNab of St Peter’s Church Shipley spoke about the launch of the Cook and Eat project, which was helping single older people to come together and share in making and eating an inexpensive but nutritious community meal.