Thousands of Leeds pupils to eat food saved from city landfills

Adam Smith, founder of The Real Junk Food Project
Adam Smith, founder of The Real Junk Food Project
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FREE breakfasts made from food that would otherwise have gone to waste will be offered to thousands of children at more than 20 Leeds primary schools next week.

A Fuel for Schools scheme is being launched during an awareness day on Tuesday in partnership between Richmond Hill Primary School and Armley-based The Real Junk Food Project.

More than 7,800 children at 22 schools across Leeds will be offered a breakfast made from food that would otherwise have gone to landfill.


The day is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of children eating breakfast before school while highlighting the vast amounts of food that are wasted across the globe every day.

The Real Junk Food Project opened Armley Junk-tion cafe on Chapel Lane in December 2013 after volunteers had the idea of cooking up food that would otherwise have been dumped and asking customers to ‘pay us you feel’ or donate a skill.

The concept snowballed and ‘pay as you feel cafes’ have sprung up across Leeds, other UK cities and in a string of countries including France, Germany and Australia.

Richmond Hill Primary School has been working with The Real Junk Food Project since June and the school has opened up a community cafe and food stall.

The school now intercepts its own food that would otherwise have gone to waste and offers free breakfasts to all 600 pupils each morning.

Adam Smith, co founder of The Real Junk Food Project, and Nathan Atkinson, Richmond Hill Primary School headmaster, wrote to all Leeds primary schools asking if they wanted to take part in the Fuel for Schools event.

A total of 22 primary schools said they would take part, including Stanningley, Chapel Allerton, Yeadon and Seacroft Grange.

Mr Smith and Mr Atkinson said: “After the event we hope that schools will be inspired to work with The Real Junk Food Project to create a sustainable way of feeding their communities, reduce wasted food and even create income for school using the pay as you feel model.”

Kerry Murphy, The Real Junk Food Project’s education co-ordinator, said: “Through our work with Richmond Hill Primary School we have seen how important an initiative like Fuel for School is, not just to stop hunger and kickstart learning, but also as an amazingly powerful tool to educate the next generation about food waste and the environment, in the hope that they can help stop such criminal amounts of waste and hunger in the future.

“It is with heavy hearts that we run a scheme like this, but hopefully through awareness and education the very children we are feeding will be in a position to put us out of business one day.”