The Junk Food Project is a Doncaster initiative led by local resident Fiona Cahill
Firstly, it started with nothing in 2015. Our express aim to tackle food waste. Did you know a third of all produced globally is wasted? The Junk Food Project like to use the hashtag #feedbelliesnotbins and we encourage people to use it too. You can follow The Junk Food Project on twitter, facebook and instagram.
The Junk Food Project is on the move
Finally we caught up with Fiona as she was busy putting together the finishing touches on the Junk Food Project’s new premises in Cleveland St. As we talked a variety of people were painting, making the counter and washing down the many and varied chairs that will give the cafe a boho feel. I asked Fiona what got her to the here and now.
“We ran a pop up in an empty shop in the town centre on Scot Lane. The project wanted to demonstrate to the public what we can do regarding the challenge food waste. In addition we also wanted to educate people on the social and environmental impacts of food waste. We make sure that everything used in the shop was brought by and donated by our local community. Of course we had no budget and no funding. This was an incredible risk but three years later we are still here.”
We tackle food surplus right in the heart of Doncaster
I went to ask about how they have managed to get a bigger and better premises right in the centre of Doncaster.
“It’s been amazing to see what can be achieved. Actually we have been able to renovate a town centre building using the power of ‘pay as you feel’. The pre-opening celebration for our new restaurant/cafe is on Thurs 8th Nov. There will be talks from me as I am the leading director. Kristin Bash a researcher at Sheffield university on sustainability and food waste will speak. Also children from our schools progamme and Jessica and India from ‘Tomorrows natural leaders programme’ based at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to talk about plastic packaging in the environment.
Vivienne Neale and Gemma White from Good Food Doncaster will also be talking about their vision for tying together and promoting Doncaster’s food sector.
We crowdfunded a van to help us build logistics and scale
Of course we were over the moon to be donated a brand new Mercedes van from local company Mech FS. We have a great sponsorship package. It’s made such a difference to us. We really look like we are a part of the community. In fact, our van spreads the message whenever it’s seen out and about in Doncaster.
We are starting a primary schools programme with The Rose Trust on the 6th November and delivering a special assembly to children at Woodfield and Balby Central primary schools about the initiative. Letters will go out to parents and then pupils will be running their own pay as you feel stalls with surplus food
So, we can assume it’s been a good year for The Junk Food project’. “oh yes, we are delighted to announce that we have just been shortlisted for a business award for ‘3rd sector organisation of the year’ from Doncaster Chamber.
Is there anything people in Doncaster can do to help or become involved in any way?
How can people help tackle food surplus?
” We are always looking for new people to help and develop what we do. Right now we need people to follow us on twitter and fb and come to our ‘Volunteering introduction sessions’ We’ll be offering in house training and internships to lead and develop areas of our work, such as our catering which is not pay as you feel and will pay for itself and help support our pay as you feel model. We also need people to help plumb sinks and lay a small patch of laminate flooring, finish off jobs and to sponsor much needed items such as a coffee machine and a dishwasher. It’s all about keeping as much as we can away from landfill and ensuring surplus food never becomes waste food. We are so excited and think 2019 will be the best yet. Do come and visit.
You can find the Junk Food Project’s new shop on Cleveland St right next to the car park. Come down and be part of an exciting food revolution in Doncaster. Read more about Good Food Doncaster right here.