REfUSE is Durham’s branch of The Real Junk Food Project: a rapidly growing network of organisations challenging criminal levels of food waste. We intercept food before it becomes waste and turn it into healthy, accessible meals, served on a ‘Pay As You Feel’ basis.
Around 40% of the food produced globally is either left rotting in fields, lost along the food supply chain or dumped into landfill. We intercept tonnes and tonnes of perfectly good food that has wrongly been labelled ‘worthless’ due to scandalous systematic problems: overproduction, strict cosmetic standards, damaged packaging, incorrect labelling, seasonal packaging, best-before dates, cancelled orders… etc.
REfUSE is based in Chester-le-Street: in April 2018 we launched a creative and inclusive ‘Pay As You Feel’ community cafe on the high street. We also run pop-up restaurant events, campaigns, a schools project and a grocery box scheme in County Durham. We are raising awareness and education about the environmental impact of food waste, building community and providing healthy food and good company to anyone that wants it.
We operate on a ‘Pay As You Feel’ basis: guests can pay for their meals in cash, but non-monetary donations of time or skills are just as valuable. We believe PAYF encourages us to think about the true value of food: the resources, time and energy that has gone into producing it, but also includes and empowers those who may struggle to afford food.