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Real Junk Food Project signs up to new Co-op food redistribution scheme

Leeds hunger busting charity, The Real Junk Food Project, has signed up to the Co-op’s new food redistribution scheme, Food Share, and is now working with nine Co-op stores across the city in a bid to increase the amount of healthy meals it can provide to those in need.

Having launched this April, the retailer’s brand new initiative takes products off sale earlier on the day of expiry, enabling charities to collect a wider range of fresh food and baked goods within their use-by and best-before dates.

The real Junk Food Project, which is receiving food from stores in Adel, Spen Lane, Cardigan Road, Butcher Hill, Farsley, Drighlington, Gildersome, Birkenshaw and Eccleshill, Bradford, will then redistribute the produce through its network of Pay As You Feel Sharehouses, cafes and local partnerships.

Co-op area manager, Joe Scoot, said, “We’re determined to call time on food waste and by launching a scheme that gives charities great quality, fresh and baked produce, we are hoping to get delicious meals to those who need them most.”

“The Real Junk Food Project does such important work in and around Leeds and we couldn’t be more delighted to be working with them. We have over 30 Co-op stores in the city and are keen to hear from other organisations and charities who can also make use of surplus food.”

Chris Green from the Real Junk Food Project Leeds, said, “Co-op Food Share is a brilliant scheme – normally charities like ours get inundated with bread and bakery items but you can’t make healthy nutritious meals with these items alone. What we need is fresh food like meat, salad and vegetables and this is precisely what we’re getting a lot more of since partnering up with the Co-op.

“The summer holidays are a really important time for us too since we know that there are many families out there who are struggling to feed their children when they’re not at school. Schemes like Food Share are flexible and community based and can help us to make a genuine and tangible difference to people’s lives.”

Co-op Food Share is having a phased roll out during 2018 to support the 1,500 towns, villages and cities in which the retailer has stores. It follows a successful trial at 50 branches with local charities and community groups.

The Co-op already works with charity, FareShare, to redistribute food from its UK depots. Since 2013 it has provided enough food for over three million meals.

Groups, good causes and charities in Yorkshire who can commit to collecting fresh food regularly and provide meals for people in the community on a not-for-profit basis, can apply to be a part of Co-op Food Share by registering their details at: http://www.coop.co.uk/foodshare