To open Manchester's first waste food pay-as-you-feel cafe, to stamp out food waste in our city and provide hot nutritious meals for all.

by Corin Bell - Director, Real Junk Food Manchester in Manchester, Greater Manchester, England

We did it
On 13th January 2017 we successfully raised £39,155 with 790 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

After hitting our original stretch target of £25k (see text below for details of that target), we are setting an additional stretch target of £30k (an additional £5k) after a huge swell of support from our backers and social media crowd.

This additional £5k will be used to support the cost of a great deal of the small equipment and sundries needed to operate the restaurant. This will include; pans, oven trays, mixers, a blender, a juicer, knives, chopping boards, crockery, cutlery, glasses, chairs, filters for the extraction system, lots and lots of containers for safe food storage, utensils, an upgraded convection oven, serving trays, signage for the outside of the restaurant, thermometers and other food safety equipment, shelving for storage, mixing bowls, graters, sieves, colanders, a till system app (just a basic one, but it’ll allow us to collect more data!)…. and lots more besides!

All of this equipment will help our chefs, and will mean the project can convert more wasted food into more meals more efficiently, but it will also make our kitchen a much nicer place to be for our volunteers!

Details of the stretch target set from £20k - £25k;

We want to make Manchester's residents healthier and happier... We want to teach the world to cook! The additional funds will be used to fund the equipment and staff time needed to offer free cooking lessons to Manchester residents on low or no income! This will include electric hobs, chopping boards, utensils, knives, small pans, aprons, etc. Some funds will also be used to produce learning materials like recipe books! We will also purchase one extra fridge and one extra freezer, so we can store even more food!


Who are we?

Real Junk Food Manchester is a not for profit project. We source food that would go to waste, cook it up into awesome meals, and serve them to anyone and everyone on a pay-as-you-feel basis. We aim to stamp out food waste, campaign to make our food system fairer and more sustainable, and support some of Manchester’s most vulnerable residents.

Since May 2014 we have been doing pop-up events all over the city and beyond. We’ve run pop-up restaurants in the Northern Quarter, catered for weddings and gala dinners, made nutritious home cooked meals for residents at hostels, and lots more besides.

What are we going to do??

Now we’re ready to do something bigger! We want to open Manchester’s first waste food pay-as-you-feel cafe and restaurant. Real Junk Food Manchester is something really different for our city, it’s about inclusion, community and sustainability. We want to create a cool cafe and restaurant, where the food and atmosphere are great, a place where people want to be, where all of the meals just happen to be made from wasted ingredients, and served on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

We've identified a site just outside of the city centre where we can stay for 6 months, and that’s just the beginning. We know we might need to move about a bit before we find a permanent home, but we aren’t going to let that stop us. We’re working with a firm of kitchen designers and fitters to develop a mobile kitchen that we can move into any space that has electricity and running water, that way we can set up and serve food in any available space in the city! This means we won’t have to leave equipment behind and waste resources if we need to move about a bit. We’re also trying to source as much equipment as possible that is second hand, or that would have gone to waste… reducing waste is at the heart of everything we do.

Why are we doing this?

Supporting People
We want to create a new social space for Manchester with a great new concept; pay-as-you-feel. At Real Junk Food Manchester, absolutely all of our meals are served on a pay-as-you-feel (P-A-Y-F) basis. P-A-Y-F means that customers can offer a financial donation to the project of what they feel a meal is worth, give whatever they can, or can recognise the value of a meal by donating their time, energy and skills to the project. We equally value contributions of money, time, energy, skills and support. The aim is to make a truly inclusive community space that will value the contribution of those who have little or no money - people before profits.

Pay-as-you-feel creates an innovative, inclusive space that deliberately bucks the recent trend towards food banks... Where people from all backgrounds are welcome, regardless of whether or not they have money. This is a conscious choice to work against the unfortunate consequence of a food bank model, where the poorest and most vulnerable in our society are segregated, often being offered little dignity or choice - everyone is welcome at our table.

Using wasted food ingredients, focussing on cooking and serving hot meals, and offering meals on a pay-as-you-feel basis means that RJFM also reverses the trend of the poorest in our city having the worst diets, and having really limited access to healthy food. By sourcing food that would go to waste, the project intercepts a huge quantity of basic, healthy ingredients, offering access to good food, and further bucking the trend of the most vulnerable in our society being offered heavily processed, tinned or dried meals.

There are currently around 8 million people in the UK who are in poverty so deep that they can’t afford enough food, let alone access healthy, nutritious food. At the same time huge amounts of perfectly edible food is wasted. We think this is bonkers, and we want to fight to change it.


Supporting our Planet
Real Junk Food Manchester is reducing food waste, and its huge environmental impacts in and around Manchester. Around 15 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK alone, and the vast majority of that food is perfectly edible. When we waste food we also waste land, water, diesel used is farming, packaging, energy to refrigerate and so much more. The lowest carbon, most sustainable thing we can do with food that is going to go to waste is put it in a belly, any belly, rather than a bin, any bin (landfill, anaerobic digestion, or compost).


Change for the better
Real Junk Food Manchester is an amazing mix of practical action and campaigning. As well as providing great meals, we raise awareness, knowledge and skills around food waste, sustainable food, and healthy diets. We want to make Manchester’s residents healthier and happier, and help to make our food system fairer and more sustainable. In our permanent home we intend to offer cookery classes, lectures, workshops, recipes and discussion. We feel strongly that if you work in a huge social and environmental problem like food waste, the only ethical end goal is to make your project no longer needed, by making the system better - This is our long term goal.

What will the money be used for?

The Crowdfunder will pay for the design and production of our mobile kitchen, a bit of work to the site we are moving into next, and purchasing a small amount of furniture and equipment (we’ve begged, borrowed and upcycled as much as we can, and will continue to).

The money will also help to pay our 3 paid staff through the set up phase. So far we’ve paid our staff through income from our pay-as-you-feel events and outside catering, proving that the model can really work as a successful social enterprise. But in order to set up the new cafe space, we’ll need to stop running events for a short while and focus on setting up our new home, and that means our staff will need a bit of support too.

Something truly innovative!

Because we’re trying to be as sustainable as possible some of our costs might change, for example, the cost of our mobile kitchen will depend on how much equipment we can source second hand. So, what will we do if we hit our Crowdfunder target and then don’t spend it all? We want you to decide! Once we’ve set up our cafe / restaurant, we’ll publish details of every penny we’ve spent, and if there are funds left over because we’ve upcycled as much as we possibly can, we’ll publish a range of lovely activities that we think will help people in Manchester (free meals, cookery lessons, days out for isolated residents) and the people who supported our Crowdfunder can vote for which activities they’d like to see made happen…. or tell us to do something completely different!

 Please support us in moving to the next exciting phase of our project!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

The High Five - Receive a huge thank you from the team at Real Junk Food Manchester, and a tasty ethical chocolate bar from the lovely folks at Divine Chocolate. We’ll also add your name to our website as a supporter of the project. (unlimited number - but you have to come and pick it up, coz we want you to see our new home!)

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Junk Food Jars - A jar of our very own “This Is Rubbish” waste food jam, chutney or preserve. Made from 100% wasted food ingredients by our own lovely chefs. We’ll also add your name to our website as a supporter of the project. (unlimited number - but you have to come and pick it up, coz we want you to see our new home!)

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Surprise a Friend - This season’s hottest Christmas present! Buy your loved ones a seat at one of our waste food pop-up restaurant evenings when we open! Each £25 donation gets you one seat at the pop-up restaurant evening of your choice, including main meal and dessert! If you’d like to give this as a gift for Christmas, just email us once you’ve donated and we’ll send you a PDF voucher to pop in a card. Dates will be published on our website as soon as we’re ready to open. We’ll also add your name to our website as a supporter of the project. (unlimited number)

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Random Act of Kindness - This season’s hottest Christmas present - only nicer! In the true spirit of giving, we thought we’d invite you all to pay it forward! Donate £25 and buy a lovely hot meal for someone who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford one. We work with a huge range of organisations who support people with little or no income. For every donation we receive we will actively invite a client of a local support organisation to join us for a slap up meal. We’ll also add your name to our website as a supporter of the project. (unlimited number)

£50 or more

£50 Reward

It Takes Two Baby! - Just so you don’t have to click twice…. and because great food is even better when it’s shared! Donate £50 and get dinner for two at the pop-up restaurant evening of your choice, including main meal and dessert! If you’d like to give this as a gift for Christmas, just email us once you’ve donated and we’ll send you a PDF voucher to pop in a card. Dates will be published on our website as soon as we’re ready to open. We’ll also add your name to our website as a supporter of the project. (unlimited number)

£100 or more

21 of 30 claimed

£100 Reward

Junk Food Skills - An exclusive cooking workshop with our own celebrity head chef, Mary-Ellen McTague. Get stuck in in the kitchen and learn how to create amazing meals that reduce waste and use up left overs, while still dazzling your guests. The workshop is followed by a sit down meal to enjoy the fruits of your labour. (30 places in total - 3 workshops of 10 people each)

£250 or more

5 of 5 claimed

£250 Reward

Junk Food Supper Club - Host a waste food supper club in your own home for up to 10 people! Invite your friends round for a dinner party with a difference, as our amazing chefs create a waste food feast in your own home! (N.B supper clubs hosted more than 20 miles from Manchester city centre will need to support travel, and if necessary accommodation costs of the Real Junk Food Team. Real Junk Food Mcr will provide all food and chefs, you provide the drinks and guests.) (5 available)

£250 or more

3 of 5 claimed

£250 Reward

Junk Food Supper Club - Host a waste food supper club in your own home for up to 10 people! Invite your friends round for a dinner party with a difference, as our amazing chefs create a waste food feast in your own home! (N.B supper clubs hosted more than 20 miles from Manchester city centre will need to support travel, and if necessary accommodation costs of the Real Junk Food Team. Real Junk Food Mcr will provide all food and chefs, you provide the drinks and guests.) (5 available)

£250 or more

10 of 10 claimed

£250 Reward

Junk Food Supper Club - Host a waste food supper club in your own home for up to 10 people! Invite your friends round for a dinner party with a difference, as our amazing chefs create a waste food feast in your own home! (N.B supper clubs hosted more than 20 miles from Manchester city centre will need to support travel, and if necessary accommodation costs of the Real Junk Food Team. Real Junk Food Mcr will provide all food and chefs, you provide the drinks and guests.) (10 available)

£500 or more

2 of 10 claimed

£500 Reward

V.I.Peas - Host your own private dinner party at our restaurant for up to 30 people. You pick the date, invite your nearest and dearest, and enjoy a waste food feast for your next birthday, anniversary, or hey, just because! (We cannot guarantee that the date you want will be available - but we'll do our damndest) (10 available)

£750 or more

2 of 5 claimed

£750 Reward

P.A.R.T.Y Food - Let us cater your next event! Whether it’s a summer birthday BBQ or a Christmas buffet, let us take the stress out of organising an event by rocking up with all the food you need for your guests. (Events for up to 50 guests, and up to 20 miles from Manchester city centre. Other events can be catered, but will incur additional charges for travel or larger parties). (5 available)

£1,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

£1,000 Reward

Team Real Junk Food - Hold your own team building day with Real Jun Food Mcr! Motivate, inspire and challenge your team by spending the day with Real Junk Food Mcr. In the morning we’ll learn about sustainability and food waste, and how your team can help to save the planet at work and at home. Then it’s into the kitchen to help our amazing chefs to prepare some food. Team building day includes lunch for all attendees. (Depending on dates, we may need to source an external venue for team building days. Max 20 attendees per day) (3 available)

£2,500 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£2,500 Reward

Best Friends Forever - Let us take a special occasion and make it truly magical…. Donate £2,500 and let our amazing Head Chef Mary-Ellen McTague and the Real Junk Food team cater your wedding, corporate launch, or big birthday. Catering for up to 150 guests, within 20 miles of Manchester city centre. (Events of larger numbers or further afield can be catered, but may incur other costs) (only 1 available)

£2,500 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£2,500 Reward

Best Friends Forever - Let us take a special occasion and make it truly magical…. Donate £2,500 and let our amazing Head Chef Mary-Ellen McTague and the Real Junk Food team cater your wedding, corporate launch, or big birthday. Catering for up to 150 guests, within 20 miles of Manchester city centre. (Events of larger numbers or further afield can be catered, but may incur other costs) (only 1 available)

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