One of the UK’s largest environmental charities, The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) has signed a 12-month lease at a facility in Leeds.
The non-profit organisation that was created to tackle rising food waste began as a single café in the Armley district in west Leeds and has gone on to inspire over 120 projects across seven countries.
TRJFP agreed to an 11,915 sq ft industrial unit in the area of Stourton which will serve as a place to store intercepted food, before then being re-distributed to the Kindness Sharehouse within the Ridings Centre, Wakefield.
The Wakefield supermarket is unique in the sense that it has no prices on its goods, instead of asking customers to ‘pay what they feel’ – providing access for all, without the stigma attached to food poverty or waste.
In 2019, TRJFP intercepted approximately 400 tonnes of food, the equivalent of 950,000 meals. In the first 12 weeks of lockdown in 2020 alone, the team intercepted double that amount – comparable to 1.9 million meals.
Adam Smith, (featured Image) Founder and CEO of TRJFP, commented: “Whilst Covid-19 has exacerbated the problem of food waste, it’s important to understand this issue does not just exist because of the pandemic. There are food consequences of every wider social, political, and economic occurrence we go through, from Christmas to Brexit and the devastating floods earlier this year, to name just a few.
“Tonnes of produce never reaches its intended destination, and special action needs to be taken to prevent it ending up in landfill until fundamental changes are made to the system. Whilst we are immensely proud of the new warehouse, it’s a bittersweet achievement really, as our growing organisation sadly reflects a rising problem. We’ll have truly succeeded when systematic changes have been made and we no longer need to do what we’re doing.”
TRJFP’s new facility is managed by the Brighouse-based commercial and industrial lettings specialist and landlord, Towngate PLC.
As one of the North’s leading commercial and industrial property experts, Towngate boasts 50 years’ experience in providing high-quality industrial and commercial spaces to help tenants grow their businesses and succeed.
Commenting on the move and the experience of working with the food charity, Tom Lamb, Property Manager at Towngate PLC added: “It’s a real pleasure to be able to work with TRJFP – the work it does is not only inspirational but vitally important to people and the environment.
“The Stourton site should make the perfect home for their warehouse operation. The close proximity to the M1 and M621 will also be extremely beneficial when distributing food supplies, while the location will ensure easy access for those looking to donate food directly.”
Featured Image: The Real Junk Food Project CEO, Adam Smith – picture credited to Lorne Campbell / Guzelian