Co-op partners with food waste charity in Leeds

The Real Junk Food Project has signed up to the Co-op’s new food redistribution scheme, Food Share, and is now working with nine Co-op stores across Leeds in a bid to tackle food waste.

The Real Junk Food Project works with international and local partners to intercept food destined for landfill and redistribute it through a network of ‘Pay As You Feel’ sharehouses, cafes and school partnerships.

They say they prevent more than one million kilograms of edible food from going into landfill annually which can help feed 44,000 people.

Co-ops initiative, which launched in April, takes products off sale earlier on the day of expiry, enabling charities to collect a wider range of fresh food and baked goods within their use-by and best-before dates.

The Real Junk Food Project will then redistribute the produce through its network of ‘Pay As You Feel’ sharehouses, cafes and local partnerships.

Co-op area manager, Joe Scoot, said: ‘We’re determined to call time on food waste and by launching a scheme that gives charities great quality, fresh and baked produce, we are hoping to get delicious meals to those who need them most.’

‘The Real Junk Food Project does such important work in and around Leeds and we couldn’t be more delighted to be working with them. We have over 30 Co-op stores in the city and are keen to hear from other organisations and charities who can also make use of surplus food.’

Chris Green from the Real Junk Food Project Leeds, said: ‘Co-op Food Share is a brilliant scheme – normally charities like ours get inundated with bread and bakery items but you can’t make healthy nutritious meals with these items alone. What we need is fresh food like meat, salad and vegetables and this is precisely what we’re getting a lot more of since partnering up with the Co-op.

‘The summer holidays are a really important time for us too since we know that there are many families out there who are struggling to feed their children when they’re not at school. Schemes like Food Share are flexible and community-based and can help us to make a genuine and tangible difference to people’s lives.’

Read more about the Real Junk Food Project here.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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