The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield

A Pay-As-You-Feel revolution has been sweeping the country, cooking up surplus food to feed bellies, not bins and now, The Real Junk Food Project has come to Sheffield!


The Real Junk Food Project aims to eradicate avoidable food waste by cooking it up into tasty meals that anyone can enjoy. There are currently around 40 cafés throughout the UK, each run by volunteers and serving up food on a Pay-As-You-Feel basis.

Food waste is a huge issue, with around one third of all food produced wasted every year. The Real Junk Food Project hopes to challenge this by taking edible surplus, excess and waste food from supermarkets, grocers, individuals or anyone else who has something to give!

The Real Junk Food Project: Background

Adam Smith, a chef from Yorkshire spent a year working on farms in Australia and became increasingly concerned with the growing problem of wasted food. Back in Leeds, Adam connected with University students Sam Joseph and Conor Walsh and The Real Junk Food Project was born.

The first PAYF café was opened in Armley, Leeds in December 2013. Since then, the project has spread throughout the UK and fed over 16500 people on a PAYF basis, saving nearly 50 tonnes of food

Pay-As-You-Feel: What is it?

Pay-As-You-Feel is integral to The Real Junk Food Project’s overall aim to abolish avoidable food waste. It shifts conceptions about the value of food as a commodity, providing an alternative to the view of waste as worthless.

By allowing you to pay what you like, the meal becomes more than its monetary value and you can start to think about the energy that went into the production of the food throughout the supply chain. It becomes about the food itself; tasty food that would have otherwise been binned!

PAYF means you can contribute for your food in any way that you like. With a monetary donation, with skills or with your time, supporting the project as a volunteer or in any way that you can. All you have to do is offer what you feel the food is worth and no one will be turned away.

This model ensures that everyone is a part of the project, creating an inclusive community space where delicious food is accessible to all.


Currently, The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield is running as a series of pop-ups, the first of which will take place on June 13th in The Old Junior School, Sharrow Community Forum.

Volunteers will be dishing up a menu of entirely donated surplus food from 18:00 to 20:00, so get down early!

As the project currently has no permanent base to store the food it collects, all waste, excess and surplus food will be collected on the day meaning Saturday’s menu is a surprise!

All monetary donations for meals are used to cover the cost of the building and are reinvested back into the project.

If you would like to get involved with The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield, take a look at their website and Facebook page.

sheff leaflet

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5 thoughts on “The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield”

  1. Please can you keep me up dated with the Sheffield project and\or put me in touch with others involved in the project in sheffield
    Thanks zoe

    1. Hi Dannie,

      There are regular events relating to the Real Junk Food Project Sheffield! You can see a full list of events on their website If you’re interested in food waste, I’d also recommend checking out ‘Save Our Sandwiches’, a group of student volunteers who are working to minimise food waste across campus. For more information see

      Hope that helps!


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