The Real Junk Food Project has now opened over 120 eateries in seven countries and continues to grow. According to CNN, founder Adam Smith recently opened a new cafe in Leeds in the United Kingdom.
“People from all over the world got in touch to say ‘Can we have one in our town?’” said Smith. “We shared our model like an open source concept and said how we did it. Next minute people were calling themselves the Real Junk Food Project in South Korea, Israel, and South Africa. It just exploded.”
The average person typically generates over four pounds of trash every single day. Many of these trash items can actually be reused and some of these items with reusability potential are actually being resold and consumed by people all over the world.
“In order for us to prove the value and safety of food waste,” Real Junk Food Project officials said, “we couldn’t just feed specific democracies of people. We don’t just feed “homeless people,” “the needy,” nor do we just feed asylum seekers, refugees, or whoever. We believe food waste is absolutely fit for human consumption and so that’s who we feed — human beings.”
Metro reports that the cafe warehouse operates on a “pay as you feel” basis. In other words, cafe patrons can either pay with monetary donations or with their time, energy, skills, or anything else they can offer.
“We’ve got a 6,000-square-foot warehouse just here in Leeds and we’re intercepting between two and 10 tons of food a day,” Smith added. “It’s just gone crazy. There are 125 Real Junk Food cafes worldwide now, not just in Britain, but in Israel and Australia and we’re about to launch 16 of them in America.”
Smith said health food officials could have shut the organization down “quite easily,” but because of its success and environmental benefits, it’s hard for governments to justify shutting the operation down.
“I told them ‘you are going to have to work with us because otherwise all this food is going to a landfill,’” Smith said, “and I’m going to tell people you are allowing it.’”