Just Junk Food – a fascinating project

Members eagerly sampled a variety of foods made from unwanted food items, prepared by the team of volunteers at The Real Junk Food Project based in St Andrews Road, off Hinckley Road, Leicester.

Alison and Bobby, supported by volunteer Director Ash, began theIr talk with a poem about food waste and then went on to give us some startling figures: 20% of food is wasted in households, costing approximately £60, 5.8 million people in the U.K are in food poverty and 15 million tonnes of food are wasted each  year.

With those thought provoking figures in mind, Bobby and Alison talked passionately about their rationale for setting up their project, how they obtain food donations regularly from a local, well known supermarket, wholesale fruit and veg market and international food shops.  The menu in their ‘pay as you feel’ cafe depends entirely on donated ingredients and recipes are agreed during daily banter in the kitchen.  Dried fish from Africa proved an unusual challenge but results in a very tasty fish stew.  Alison described some of the social outcomes of the project, including meeting with others at the cafe when coming to eat, volunteering and offering skills, such as the painted van in the picture.  Nothing is wasted, even plastic plates and cutlery are washed and used again and vegetable peelings are  composted.


Amazing array of crafted items from recycled materials

Recycling (1)-w500-h500Sue Drage amazed members this week with her vast range of items made from recycled items.  It was ingenious what could be made from items such as old bottles, plastic bags, drinks cans, sweet wrappers, magazines, old t shirts, paper clips, CDs, egg boxes and ties.

Sue has developed these crafty skills in recent years, making items for her own use, others to sell and has also been asked to go into schools to work with children.  She even knits using old plastic carrier bags as ‘yarn.’    Her most bizarre request has been to make a spacesuit for a chicken!

Sue utilises her card making skills as well as her knowledge of origami.  Tools include a hot glue gun, PVA glue, clear nail varnish, sellotape and cling film.

Thanks, too, to Sue’s husband, Richard, for coming along to help set up her display.

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Bags, jars, bird feeder and cases from clear plastic bottles.

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Tote bags made from drinks cartons (left) and crisp packets (right)

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Decorative ‘shoes’ modelled on real shoes – layers of cling film, sellotape plus decorations. Bracelet from folded paper (no glue).

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Sue’s favourite bag made from flattened drinks cans