Located on the Grangefield Industrial Estate in Pudsey, the UK’s first food waste supermarket has opened.
With food donated by major supermarket chains such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Ocado, as well as cafés and restaurants, the warehouse supermarket is part of The Real Junk Food Project.
Adam Smith, project founder and trained chef, says that people who visit may “pay what the feel” by giving their time, money, or skills.”
He plans on opening a warehouse in every city in the country.
Speaking to Huffington Post, Smith said that the supermarket was never actually planned: “We were intercepting food at our central HQ in Leeds at an enormous level, that we encountered surplus food which we couldn’t stop from going to rot.”
He described the supermarket as a “great success” and plans to open another two in Sheffield and Bradford.
The supermarket has already helped several desperate families feed their children.
One lady told The Independent that, “the warehouse has absolutely been a lifeline over the past month or so” for her and her family.
According to the Trussell Trust, it was handling over 26,000 emergency three-day supplies of food seven years ago.
That figure has now risen to 1.1 million.
On September 19 it was announced that public donations to food banks in the North East have plummeted by 75 per cent, despite there being a record demand as one in 25 people in the UK are now below the poverty line.
A study has found that just over four per cent of people are struggling to afford food, with Liverpool, Hull, and Middlesbrough being some of the cities in greatest need.
Parts of Leeds, Manchester, and Wokingham, were found to be areas with the lowest risk of food poverty.
Dr Dianna Smith, from the University of Southampton, said that: “In low income families struggling to feed themselves, free school meals is a crucial lifeline and ‘holiday hunger’ is a real concern at present. It’s crucial that we are able to identify where support is most needed.”
She also stated that there is no robust way of measuring food poverty, unlike the US or Canada.