Around 1/3 of food is wasted globally year on year, with the vast majority being perfectly edible. In the UK alone, 15 million tonnes ends up in landfill. Since inception in 2013, The Real Junk Food Project has intercepted 5000 tonnes of food the equivalent of 11.9 million meals, inspiring Pay As You Feel concepts all over the world.
What does The Real Junk Food Project do?
- Operates Pay As You Feel cafes, serving only food that would have been wasted to create delicious meals for anyone who needs it
- Runs Kindness Sharehouse that intercepts surplus from 92 stores a week to make groceries available for Pay As You Feel 6 days a week
- Provides hundreds of Freegan Boxes a month, groceries curated from intercepted food
- Provides food to multiple schools, community groups and charities across the region
- But still there is still so much more we want to do to REALLY feed the world.
What is Zelig?
Zelig means to morph into another, by taking on a new role or adapting with ease. Zelig is TRJFP's catering chameleon. With the transformative power of repurposing food that would otherwise have been wasted, we can adapt to any function or event where catering is needed since August 2018. Catering can be wasteful. But there’s a different way to make a huge impact with taste, not on the environment.
Now we need your support to scale up our operation, make it a viable enterprise and save even more food from becoming waste.
We plan to build a full catering kitchen on site at the Kindness Sharehouse, The Real Junk Food Project HQ in Wakefield. Having our own catering kitchen means we can expand what catering we can offer, cater for more events and stop even more food becoming waste. Zelig aims to have an incredible impact not only on our planet, but also on our community and the regions young care leavers by providing a place of training and support.
When young people turn 18, they are legally classed as an adult and the levels of support they receive from the government change. It can feel they are making the difficult transition from child to adult alone. 40% of care leavers aged 19-21 are not in education, employment or training (NEET), compared to 13% of this age group overall. (gov.uk) and many may leave care without qualifications.
At The Real Junk Food Project, we already commit to providing voluntary and work opportunities in our cafes and Sharehouse, enabling many to contribute and gain fulfilling employment. With Zelig, we can develop even more opportunities.
The Real Junk Food Project is an environmental organisation, breaking down a huge global issue and reconnecting people with the invaluable resource at its heart: food. Repurposing food strips it down to its essence and it’s real value. Through Zelig, just like with food we use, it will be the young persons’ qualities and aspirations, rather than their background or 'care-leaver' status that will be centre-stage.
Zelig will provide training and a support network, providing key skills to becoming independent and gaining fulfilling work allowing personal development. We believe our success isn't in how much we grow, but when we put ourselves out of business. Young people are key to this, to create and be the change we so badly need in our food systems.
We will be honoured to work alongside The Sanctuary Project semi-independent accommodation in Wakefield, whose young tenants will come to us as trainees, to deliver this project. Their mission is to ensure young people have fulfilling lives. We will also work alongside Huddersfield University to provide NVQ's and apprenticeships.
We’ve got big dreams that your support will help us realise. Our mission is to make Zelig the world’s first centre for excellence in catering, run with only surplus ingredients, providing skilled young care leavers the pathway to employment by training in our full catering facility. Not only will this save EVEN MORE food from going to waste across our network, but train care leavers across West Yorkshire key catering skills that will help them gain confidence, discipline and ultimate employment in the industry.
We hope by empowering young people through huge positive contributions to their community and their personal development, to inspire them to be the change and educate about the difference they can make to the atrocities of food waste.
How are we going to do it?
Currently, we have signed off on construction of the facility at our Wakefield site. The entire structure will be made from repurposed shipping containers provided by Ace Containers Leeds, both a quick and cost-effective solution. There's something quite satisfying about working to end food waste, with ingredients that have been written off from consumption, inside a construction that would otherwise have been waste too!
Catering for outside events provides a vital source of income, as we receive absolutely no funding. This groundbreaking project will be self-sustaining and solve a lot of issues through its catering output and educate an audience that may not know
The £5,000 we hope to raise will cover capital planning and building costs to get Zelig up and running. It will cover:
- Planning permission
- Structural build
- Making containers water tight
- All windows/doors/fixtures/electrics/plumbing
- Transport and build on-site
Our founder Adam Smith had experience of the care system as a young person, and is determined to provide opportunities for people with a similar background. As a team with Adam at the helm, we are fully committed to making this project a reality.
"The whole point is to support young people who may have already experienced the point of trauma, that can kick in up to 11 years after initial point, and prevent them from getting to homelessness and other issues by providing transferable life skills that can also support them with a pathway to employment. All while stopping food waste and being a part of an environmental charity that’s actually helping to change the world, without creating further stigma and empowering them as individuals”.
We need you - help us build Zelig!
We have been lucky enough to be selected for up to a further £5000 pot of funding from Legal and General - it all depends how much support we get! When we receive at least 30 pledges and our page raises £1000, we unlock another £1000 from the pot, another £1,500 raised unlocks £1,500 and another £2,500 raised unlocks £2,500! We are in competition with other projects for this funding and is on a first-come-first-served basis. With this, we can invest in our operations making them the best they can be!
Thank you so much for visiting our Crowdfunder and please check out our rewards, to see what we can offer for you or just click pledge! We have always been blown away in the past by the remarkable amount of support people have offered in the past. TRJFP wouldn't be where it is today without you. Please share our Crowdfunder far and wide in any way you see fit and pledge if you can. We hope we can count on your support again to spread #kindness and build Zelig!
Together, lets REALLY feed the world.