The Real Junk Food Project is the UK’s largest environmental charity redistributing surplus food, from across the food industry.
Its founder and CEO Adam Smith is keen to stress that the project is not so much a food bank as a waste interceptor.
He said, “We’re not trying to feed a certain amount of poor people, we’re here to stop food waste – our motto is ‘Feed bellies not bins.’”
Smith says a lot of the food his project rehomes is designated not as ‘waste’ but ‘surplus,’ perhaps having suffered accidental damage or having been over-ordered.
He shared, “We take that food, we process it and we adhere to a strict quality control process,” not least monitoring the UK’s Food Safety Act guidelines on “use by” and “best before” dates.
He explained, “Our trained staff of volunteers make judgments about food consumption – checking the packaging, checking the day, checking the quality – and then we redistribute this food from lots of different channels.”