Volunteers needed – help us during Covid-19

Posted by Rachel Trafford 23 Mar 2020

The founder of The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP), Adam Smith, is mobilising TRJFP’s network in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford and Calderdale. This is to provide food to all who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also calling for volunteers and funds to support this massive effort.

TRJFP was set up by Adam Smith in 2013 to distribute perfectly edible food that would otherwise not make it to plate to individuals, cafes, schools and community groups. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the charity has switched its focus to making sure that food continues to reach the people who need it most, as well as NHS workers.

Adam Smith, founder of TRJFP, said “Let’s get one thing clear – there is no shortage of food. There are lots of wholesalers with large quantities of food for the catering industry that we can collect, divide and distribute to those who need it. Also we can deliver food to those who are able to pay for the food, in order to fund it for those who can’t. We are looking for volunteers to help us with this vital work.

“This is different to our usual work where we intercept perfectly edible food destined for landfill and use it to feed bellies not bins. We are getting donations from food businesses that are closing as well as buying food from wholesalers to make this work.”

By using a combination of Pay As You Feel donations at The Kindness Sharehouse in Wakefield, a Go Fund Me page and selling Freegan Boxes of mixed goods priced at £10 and £5; TRJFP plans to raise enough money to pay for food as well as distributing all that is being donated.

The charity is going to start mass catering with the food it receives and is working with local restaurants and businesses to set up hubs for the effort. Volunteers will be cooking and freezing meals that can then be distributed to those who need them, including those in isolation. The pre-cooked meals will be included in ‘isolation packs’ as well as other essential items, fruit and vegetables.

TRJFP is already working alongside Bear Kitchen, Wakefield Street Kitchen, Wakefield Elim Community Church and St Catherine’s Food Bank as well as many others in the cities of Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford to get the food out to those who need it.

Collection points will also be set up in Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford for NHS workers to come and collect boxes of food. Already 60 NHS workers in Wakefield have been to collect their boxes from TRJFP in the city.

Adam Smith added: “I just want to say that we are here for everybody. Please get in touch with us by emailing kindness@trjfp.com if you have food donations or access to space like warehouses, kitchens or vehicles that you would allow us to use in these difficult times.

“Above all we urgently need volunteers across Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford to help with the collection and delivery of food, cooking and freezing the meals; as well as back-office support to coordinate this huge effort.

“We are going to mobilise on a massive scale and hope to roll this out to as many places as possible. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered and donated so far. Furthermore I’m hopeful we can get through this together with as much kindness as possible.”

All the links you need:

Volunteering:
> To register to volunteer in Leeds:
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSeaZe3tTJpg8p7xvF…/viewform
> To register to volunteer in Wakefield:
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfbBWJdMvCgf9WnDr…/viewform
> To register to volunteer in Bradford: Information yet to be confirmed, please be patient with us.

Financial support for TRJFP:
> To register for a freegan box (for those that can afford):
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSeg_QOiwbu6BgScNo…/viewform
> To make a donation to the Covid19 support:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/wakefield-and-surrounding-areas-…

Isolation packs:
> To register for an Isolation pack in Wakefield:
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSd96LmsOs1Un6p-y7…/viewform
> To register for an Isolation pack in Leeds:
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSc2-I9jnl17DZZUrQ…/viewform
> To register for an Isolation pack in Bradford:
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSeTnLRn09PSzb0e0D…/viewform