Food & Drink

Twickenham food waste warriors open second pop-up café

By Matthew Trinder
January 24 2020, 15.40

A Twickenham project which saves surplus food from landfills is opening a second pop-up café next week due to popular demand.

The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) works with volunteers to save food destined for the bin and transform it into nutritious delicious meals for the community on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

Crissy Weller and Clare Box set up their first TRJFP branch at the ETNA Community Centre on Rosslyn Road in June 2018, and from Tuesday January 28 the Greenwood Community Centre on School Road will also be opening its doors to hungry visitors.

Miss Weller, 37, said: “The time is definitely right. We have volunteers who are excited to help us expand, we have been offered a new space by the lovely Greenwood Community Centre who want to open their doors to more of their local community and we all feel that we are a good fit for each other.”

“The more cafes like ours the better for all of us,” she added.

MEAL PLANNERS: Food is prepared by a team of volunteers

TRJFP is partnered with Tesco, Co-op, Waitrose and Harris and Hoole in Twickenham. They donate food through a charity called FareShare, the UK’s largest charity that is fighting food waste and redistributing it to frontline charities.

A team of volunteers create ideas after they receive the ingredients and get to work straight away in the kitchen.

Chicken stir-fry, apple tatin, banana bread and an array of freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, pastries and breads are examples of what’s often served to the on average 50 visitors who attend each day.

Miss Weller was keen to stress the social element to the project’s mission too.

She said: “It brings people together and hopefully empowers them to make different choices with how they view and use food.

“And it breaks down boundaries between people, by being a space that welcomes everyone no matter their story.”

BREAKING BREAD: TRJFP won Richmond’s Community Project of the Year in 2019

Volunteer Shatkhiasennut Gallimore, 39, said: “This project is accessible to everyone and can do so much, from helping people gain work experience in the kitchen to supplying healthy meals and cooking lessons to children.”

“Food waste is such a terrible thing while other people die from malnutrition. This project is so necessary it’s amazing,” she emphasised.

Miss Weller said the project is always in need of more enthusiastic volunteers.

TRJFP Twickenham is held every Monday at the ETNA Community Centre and every Tuesday at the Greenwood Community Centre from 11am-1pm. For more information visit the Facebook or Twitter pages. 

Images courtesy of Trish Gant.

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