The UK’s first food waste supermarket has opened in Pudsey, near Leeds.
Food waste campaigners from the Real Junk Food Project have opened “the warehouse”, a store on the Grangefield Industrial Estate. Customers are invited to shop for food thrown out by supermarkets and other businesses.
The food is priced on a “pay as you feel” basis and has already helped desperate families struggling to feed their children.
“The warehouse has absolutely been our lifeline over the past month or so,” Kirsty Rhodes toldThe Independent.
Kirsty was recently diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, leaving her husband with no choice but to leave work to take over most of the care of the couple’s three children. Overnight the couple’s household income was reduced to almost nothing.
“With three young children and two adults to feed we started to struggle straight away. Luckily we took the plunge to go to the warehouse and it was amazing!” Kirsty said.
So far the family have bought fresh pasta, juice, pasta sauce, desserts, fruit, vegetables and lots of salad. “We’ve even had baby milk on one occasion and our baby is 7 months so it was perfect,” she said.
Kirsty has plans to run a workshop to teach people how to make jam after she used fruit from the warehouse to make her own.
Adam Smith, founder of the Real Junk Food Project, which is behind the food waste supermarket, told The Independent that there are plans to open a warehouse selling surplus produce in every city in the UK.
The initiative started as “boutiques” or food waste stalls selling produce in Real Junk Food Project cafes.
The food, which may otherwise have found its way to landfill, is used to feed 12,000 children a week.