News & Reviews The Real Junk Food Project

Published on November 18th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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The Real Junk Food Project Fights Waste, Feeds People

The Real Junk Food Project Fights Waste, Feeds People

The Real Junk Food Project dumpster dives to stock its kitchens and sells edible, safe food for everyone at its cafes around Australia and the UK.

Have you heard of the PAYF model? It stands for Pay As You Feel, and it’s a way for restaurants to truly serve everyone. That means that if you can only afford to pay a dollar for your meal, you pay a dollar. If you can afford ten dollars, you pay ten. The idea is that it all balances out, and everyone gets to eat. The Real Junk Food Project uses PAYF, so that anyone who needs a meal can get one.

Related: How can we stop wasting food?

The Real Junk Food Project has diverted 10,520.716 kg (over 23,000 pounds or 11 tons) of food from landfills and used it to make safe meals for 2,888 people. And that’s just the data they collected between December 2013 and June 2014. That’s not a bad dent in the estimate 1.3 billion tons of food we waste every year worldwide.

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at our sister site Sustainablog wrote a piece on The Real Junk Food Project, and he answered the question that I bet a lot of you are asking: Is this food safe? Jeff says that it definitely is: “according to KTRK in Houston, co-founder Sam Joseph has taken a course in sanitary food preparation, and all volunteers use standard food safety practices to make sure they don’t make anyone sick. If something doesn’t look or smell right, they don’t use or serve it… period.”

The Real Junk Food Project: Save Your Cafe

The downside to The Real Junk Food Project’s PAYF is that it doesn’t always totally work out. They operate some pop up cafes, and there are is also a permanent location that needs our help. The cafe in Armley, Leeds needs to raise 130,000 by January 15th, 2014 if they’re going to stay open. If you want to donate to keep that cafe open, you can use the donate button on this page.

Images via The Real Junk Food Project


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About the Author

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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