It is time to talk junk.
When we say the word junk food to you, what does it mean? Do you think of a pack of Oreos with a laughable serving suggestion on the back that sounds more like a challenge than a recommendation or do you think about a revolutionary new campaign that has come to Liverpool? Gabby Holmes and Natalie Hughes-Crean have known each other since November and when they’re not doing their 9-5, they’re doing their 5-9, a project dedicated to feeding people with food that would otherwise be wasted. Welcome to the Real Junk Food Project, a pioneering movement to abolish avoidable food waste.
The world’s eyes are too big for their belly as shocking estimates of food waste are announced at over 30% percent of all food. Let’s put that into perspective; that is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes a year of food that is binned whilst millions die each year of starvation. Building on successful events at Brink where people come and eat “Binner” (food that would otherwise be binned) the two women behind the project have secured a space at Shaw Street in Everton. They have the space until Christmas so we guess you could call it a pop-up but hopefully this will be one that’ll last. They got the keys recently and moved in with a team of dedicated and amazing volunteers who have scrubbed it from top to bottom and got it ready for the big opening night on August 22nd.
The cafe will be open 10am-5pm on Saturday’s and 11am-4pm on Sunday’s. Admirable considering the women and volunteers all have other jobs but are choosing their free time to help others. The cafe is going to be unique in many ways. First of all, there is no menu. Due to the nature of how they receive their food they might not know what they’re cooking until the very morning they receive it. They work alongside lots of organisations, restaurants and more as well as the amazing Rough Hand Made so if the people of Penny Lane don’t buy up all the delicious treats, they’ll find their way to Shaw Street. The second reason why this cafe isn’t your normal cafe is that it works on a PAYF (pay as you feel) scheme. This means you can leave whatever you thought the meal was worth. Another interesting aspect is that this isn’t necessarily money. You can pay for your dinner by helping them clean down at the end of the day, chipping in with the washing up or offering your unique skills. This is what really stands out about this project and will benefit hundreds and thousands of people in need who can help but might have an empty wallet.
We’re so pleased that this is happening. Good luck to Gabby and Natalie in their valiant efforts and we’ll definitely be down for a few mysterious meals. If you want to volunteer, donate food or find out any way you can help head to their website here, Facebook here and Twitter here and get in touch.
Address: 117 Shaw Street, Everton, L6 1HW