October 31, 2020

Charity mobilises to feed Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford and Calderdale during the COVID-19 pandemic

The founder of The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP), Adam Smith, is mobilising TRJFP’s network in Wakefield, Bradford, Leeds and Calderdale to provide food to all who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also calling for volunteers and funds to support this massive effort.

TRJFP was set up by Adam Smith in 2013 to distribute perfectly edible food that would otherwise not make it to plate to individuals, cafes, schools and community groups. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the charity has switched its focus to making sure that food continues to reach the people who need it most, as well as NHS workers.

Adam Smith, founder of TRJFP, said “Let’s get one thing clear – there is no shortage of food. There are lots of wholesalers with large quantities of food for the catering industry that we can collect, divide and distribute to those who need it. We can also deliver food to those who are able to pay for the food, in order to fund it for those who can’t. We are looking for volunteers to help us with this vital work.

“This is different to our usual work where we intercept perfectly edible food destined for landfill and use it to feed bellies not bins. Our donations have dried up so we will need to buy food from wholesalers to make this work.”

By using a combination of Pay As You Feel donations at The Kindness Sharehouse in Wakefield, a Go Fund Me page and selling Freegan Boxes of mixed goods priced at £10 and £5; TRJFP plans to raise enough money to pay for food.

The charity is going to start mass catering with the food it receives and is working with local restaurants and businesses to set up hubs for the effort. Volunteers will be cooking and freezing meals that can then be distributed to those who need them, including those in isolation. The pre-cooked meals will be included in ‘isolation packs’ as well as other essential items, fruit and vegetables.

TRJFP is already working alongside Bear Kitchen, Wakefield Street Kitchen, Wakefield Elim Community Church and St Catherine’s Food Bank as well as many others in the cities of Wakefield, Bradford and Leeds to get the food out to those who need it.

Collection points will also be set up in Wakefield, Bradford and Leeds for NHS workers to come and collect boxes of food. Already 60 NHS workers in Wakefield have been to collect their boxes from TRJFP in the city.

Adam Smith (left) with NHS workers and their food boxes

Adam Smith added: “I just want to say that we are here for everybody. Please get in touch with us by emailing [email protected] if you have food donations or access to space like warehouses, kitchens or vehicles that you would allow us to use in these difficult times.

“We urgently need volunteers across Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford to help with the collection and delivery of food, cooking and freezing the meals; as well as back-office support to coordinate this huge effort.

“We are going to moblilise on a massive scale and hope to roll this out to as many places as possible. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered and donated so far. I’m hopeful we can get through this together with as much kindness as possible.”

To register to volunteer, for a Freegan box or for an isolation box visit TRJFP’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TRJFProject/.

To make a donation to TRJFP’s campaign visit: www.gofundme.com/f/wakefield-and-surrounding-areas-covid19-support

For information please watch this video by Adam Smith: