Real Junk Food Manchester (RJFM) is preparing to open the north’s first ever waste food catering business.
The not-for-profit operation will provide catering and meals for people, businesses and organisations using food that would otherwise go to waste.
In September 2017 RJFM opened the UK’s first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant on Oxford Street in Manchester’s city centre. The project was initially set up as a short term pop-up, but due to its popularity has been open for nearly a year, and has since doubled the size of its operation.
The project will also supply meals to vulnerable people across the city through partnerships with local charity and public sector groups. The project will be located in a large commercial kitchen, and is part of a new partnership with a local social housing provider.
This new venture will allow Real Junk Food Manchester to intercept, process and use more food that would otherwise go to waste, ultimately lowering the city’s carbon footprint.
Founder and director, Corin Bell said: “The year that we have spent running the restaurant has been amazing, a huge social and economic experiment that we have learned so much from. We’ve been astounded by the welcome that we’ve received locally, and we’re beyond proud of the sense of community and inclusion that we’ve created. What we want to do now is take everything we’ve learned, and do more.”
Project director Chris Haydon added: “The volunteering opportunities we’ve been able to offer at the restaurant are social and engaging, and we’ve loved working with a huge range of people, but we feel like we can do more.
“Having spent a year with customers and volunteers from a massive range of backgrounds, we recognise that we’re in a position to offer people who have become marginalised more structured and significant opportunities to learn, train and work in hospitality.”