Approximately one third of the food produced in the world every year either gets spoiled or wasted. That’s 1.3 billion tons of food that could be used to feed the estimated 795 million people who don’t have daily access to healthy food.
To help eliminate this unnecessary food wastage, a “pay-as-you-feel” grocery store was recently opened in the U.K. It sells products that other stores either rejected or threw out because of nearing expiration dates or dented packaging at whatever prices people can afford.
The store, which is located in Pudsey near Leeds, uses the “pay as you feel” model to enable people who can’t afford healthy food on a daily basis to get the necessary nutrition for their families. The initiative was started by The Real Junk Food Project Charitable Foundation: it’s a global network of pay-as-you-feel cafés that cook food that’s wasted into delicious healthy meals.
The charity’s mission is to stop food wastage in our lifetime and to “ensure the next generation do not suffer from our ignorance.” Since it’s grand opening in August, the new supermarket has helped many families that struggle to feed their children healthy meals.
One woman named Kirsty Rhodes told The Independent that the store has been her family’s “lifeline over the past month.” Her husband suffers from a chronic pain condition and was forced to quit his job, losing the family’s main income source almost overnight.
While The Real Junk Food Project isn’t the first such program in the world (a similar program called WeFood started in Denmark earlier this year), it’s founder, Adam Smith, hopes its actions will inspire other countries to open warehouses that sell surplus produce. Smith hopes to eventually open supermarkets that follow the same model in every single city in the U.K. and eventually turn the charity’s mission into a reality.
Image credit: therealjunkfoodproject.com