Real Junk Food project

Real Junk Food Project , Brighton
Photo Darren Cool

It is a staggering estimation that a quarter to a third of food produced globally is wasted. And yet, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition report in 2018, there are an estimated 821 million people who do not get enough to eat. In the UK, 2 million people are estimated to be malnourished, while the UK as a whole creates an estimated 15 million tonnes of food waste every year.

The Real Junk Food Project, based in Brighton but part of a national network, works to solve both problems by using ‘surplus’ food to feed people who may have otherwise gone hungry. The project prevents edible food from going to landfill by turning it into healthy, nutritious meals for the community by intercepting food from farms, food banks, restaurants, households, factories and supermarkets.

The group has received over £54,000 in funding from Sussex Community Foundation since 2016, almost half of which was from our Sussex Crisis Fund.

The project runs pop-up cafes at:

  • St Luke’s Church, Old Shoreham Road (Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
  • Hollingdean Community Centre (Thursdays)
  • One Church Gloucester Place (Fridays).

There is also a food hub at Leybourne Parade in Bevendean.

In 2017, the Real Junk Food Project saved 47 tonnes of food from landfill and fed 17,000 people. In addition, it gives local people the opportunity to support each other and really helps to build a sense of community. Marco Borgatti (top left) is one of the volunteers.

“The work carried out by the Real Junk Food Project in regards to the depressing food waste problem touched me on a very personal level,” says Marco. “They welcomed me into their world at the right time, giving me a sense of purpose again. It has given me the chance to feel part of the community again and to give back to the community at my pace, without any pressure.”