About The Real Junk Food Project

Let’s REALLY feed the world!

The Real Junk Food Project is a global, organic network of pay-as-you-feel concepts that was formed in Leeds in 2013 by Adam Smith. Together we divert perfectly edible food destined for waste and use it to create delicious and healthy meals for anyone and everyone.

Food Waste and Food Poverty are two major tragedies that we are currently facing. We aim to bridge that gap. We are one of a very few businesses whose aim is to go out of business. This would mean that there is either no food waste to intercept or no hungry people to feed, then our job would be considered done!

Here are some key reasons about why we do what we do:

To learn more about ‘pay as you feel’ and what the Real Junk Food Project aims to do through its cafes, watch founder Adam Smith below:


What is Pay As You Feel?

The Real Junk Food Project operates on a Pay As You Feel basis for food items from our market. So that we can keep the project running, we ask for a minimum #PAYF donation of £3 for a 2-course meal.

This invites people to exchange money, ideas, time, skills and creativity for a meal. It encourages you to think about what a plate of food means to you. Where has it come from? How much energy was used to create and deliver it? Why was it destined for the landfill?

Today there are over 150 projects operating across the globe from Africa to Australia with pay as you feel cafes popping up every week. You can check out the rest of the real junk food network.


Image courtesy of Shy B Photography: http://shybphotography.com

If you eat – you’re in!

We believe that the food has value and so does everybody, so if you can afford a donation, that is great as the money keeps us going and cash payment is greatly appreciated. All money is invested back into the project to cover our overheads and develop the project further. There is no emphasis on financial donations. If you do not have access to money we are happy to exchange services, ideas, time and creativity for food items. For example, helping us wash up the dishes, clean up after service, get on board as a volunteer, or create artwork for us to highlight the food waste controversy or to brighten up the cafe.


Image courtesy of Jo Withers Photography: http://joannewithersphotography.co.uk


Our Menus

Our menu changes every day as it is dependant on the food that has been intercepted, which is a fun and creative task for our chefs!

We aim to cater for everybody, so along with meat dishes, we offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

If you have an allergy concern speak with one of the volunteers.


What are people saying about us?

“I’ve been to the West End the last two weeks and am highly impressed. The kids love it too and we are recruiting new faces to come with us every week. It’s a great initiative and I’m right behind you, singing your praises and hopefully raising your profile, more power to you!!”

Carla, Customer

“A fantastic project run by amazing people! An inspiration!!!”

“An extremely good project run by some very friendly humans!!! A great meal as well as a great way to meet people and raise awareness of one of the causes of Food Poverty!!!”

“Really determined effort by Bobby and Alison is surely paying off. Brilliant enthusiasm in the team. Can only get better as time goes by.”

Natu, Volunteer

“Great atmosphere and a good place to share food with friends … Or to go on your own and make new ones. An amazing community of people. I loved my first day volunteering on Saturday. The food is top quality. Can’t wait to go back x.”

Laura, Volunteer

“Thanks for the darn’ good dinner at The Real Junk Food Project Leicester”

“Got to eat at The Real Junk Food Project Leicester! Great concept & the food was tasty!”

“Been down to the West End Centre for The Real Junk Food Project Leicester, such an amazing cause, very sustainable + a great community feel!”

“Thank you so much – this evening made me very very very happy – feeling fuelled up and refreshed! Food was very very very tasty – you all do such a good thing – thank you!”

“Fab food and friends”

“The junk food is brilliant and it’s very interesting how they do it all. Very friendly people to make new friends”

“It’s amazing what they do!! Food is delicious! Great work!”