With Love From TRJFP Brum

Happy Valentines Day from all the volunteers at TRJFP Brum!

Heart showing a sample Pay As You Feel menu on a blackboard

2019 was another super year for the project.

Thank you for your support, however large or small, we couldn’t do this without people like you!

If you’d like to hear more about what our wonderful volunteers got up to last year – read on!

Heart showing the slogan on the wall of the Sharehouse

Last year we increased the volume of food rescued by 46%.

We collected from 75 different suppliers on 825 occasions.

We received a total of 503,192 kilos of donated goods, which works out at around 9.5 tonnes every week.

Heart showing people eating at a Pay As You Feel cafe

With all these amazing donations, we served 9558 meals at 318 events, at 50 different locations, cooked with 8079 kitchen volunteer hours.

We were runners up in the Observer Best Ethical Food Project category for the second year running.

Heart showing a healthy, colourful meal being cooked

Our wonderful volunteers fed, entertained, exercised, and educated 49 children from 22 families over the summer through the Happy Healthy Holidays scheme.

We catered two Junk Food Weddings, supported Bearwood and Kings Heath Action For Refugees, The Big Feed and a number of other charitable and worthy causes across the region.

Heart showing a volunteer riding a cargo trike

We got two new cargo trikes to transport and deliver food with zero emissions. Our volunteers have already pedalled them 300 miles, saving approximately 70kg in carbon emissions!

Our van racked up 12,500 miles (there are some journeys and loads a cargo bike can’t manage!)

Heart showing a volunteer at a boutique stall

We distributed 2438 Freegan Boxes!

Any food we couldn’t use because it was unfit for human consumption, not stored properly before donating, or in open/damaged packaging was taken to animal sanctuaries or composted.

Heart showing a blackboard advertising Root Veg and Nettle Soup

We welcomed volunteers from the Environment Agency, M&S, Sainsbury’s and The Heart of Birmingham Vocational College.

Several of our volunteers moved into paid jobs – well done to them!

And we upgraded Bob’s blender, so he can more easily make the soup he loves to cook for people.

If you want to download a copy of our ‘Digest’ listing some of last year’s achievements, you can do so here:

Thanks for being involved, and here’s to a productive 2020 Feeding Bellies Not Bins!

Sharehouse Extra Openings Before Christmas 2019!

Have you wanted to visit the TRJFP Birmingham Sharehouse, but have never been able to come on a Thursday?

Well, this might be your perfect opportunity!

The Sharehouse will be running extra opening for Pay As You Feel shopping before Christmas:

Monday 23 Dec 12 -2 pm and
Tuesday 24 Dec 12 – 2 pm

Click here to find it on Google Maps:

  • If you’re driving, please park on the access road where there is plenty of space and walk through the trading estate to the Sharehouse (and request taxis drop-off/pick-up there too). We need access for deliveries, as do our neighbours – there is no room for customer/volunteer cars. We have trolleys and can help you to take your shopping to your vehicle if needed – please just ask.
  • Food is for personal use only – you cannot shop for friends/family, or to sell on. By all means tell your friends/family to come down and shop with us too, though!
  • Only take what you need and leave what you don’t – we may ask you to put some things back if you take too much of a single item – it’s only fair to leave enough for others.
  • Any questions, just ask our lovely volunteers.
Picture of Santa delivering boxes

Merry Christmas 2019!

We’ve had another phenomenal year at TRJFP Brum, and as you can see from the photos below, we’re getting ready for Christmas!

Our wonderful café volunteers will be taking some well earned rest over the festive period, so please note that ALL our cafés will be closed from 20th December onwards, and will reopen the week beginning the 6th January 2020.

Freegan Boxes will also not be available over this period (emails have been sent to all recipients advising of their restart date).

The Sharehouse in Winson Green will be open Thursdays 12 – 6pm as usual on 26th December (Boxing Day) and 2nd January.

Thank you for all your support over the year. Have a great time and we’ll see you in January!

Volunteers and attendees at Summerfield Place of Welcome
Place of Welcome – Summerfield
Scrapstore Santa!

Happy Easter!

Easter is fast approaching and we want to let you know which of our venues will be closed over the Bank Holidays.

There will be no Freegan Box collections on Good Friday (19th April)

Things will be back to normal from Wednesday 24th April.

We hope you have a lovely time

The TRJFP Brum team

Ladywood garden revamp

The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham has received funding from the Heart of England Community Foundation to upgrade and re-establish a community garden at the Ladywood Community Centre. There are already a few raised beds and a hot composting bin on site (see images).

We have bought some tools, a storage box and another raised bed as well as soil and plants. If you would like to get involved to make this garden more colourful and get your hands dirty please come along on Fridays between 11am and 12pm. You will get a hot meal afterwards at our café on site.

Hobs Moat Café – Jay


I feel so lucky I’m in a position to be able to help and feel I get more out of it than it gets out of me.

Jay

I first heard of the Real Junk Food Project Birmingham in December 2017 from a neighbour who invited me to come along to St Marys church hall for a bite to eat and a bit of shopping on a pay as you feel basis.

I went along and had a very nice roast dinner with pudding and a decent bag of shopping a chat with some of my unknown neighbours. A very relaxing afternoon with some lovely company for which I gave 4 or 5 pounds, what a bargain.

I enjoyed it so much I offered to help out if it ever happened again, and I’ve not looked back. We now have a great bunch of volunteers and have been going from strength to strength, we have even had a street party for the people living in Trinity Close where quite a few neighbours came and spent a beautiful sunny afternoon with tea, coffee, fruit juice, cakes, biscuits, fruit and music, it was great.

I can truly say that volunteering for the Real Junk Food Project Birmingham is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever done. I’ve made a whole bunch of new friends and got to know more of my neighbours in the past few months than I have the previous 7 years I have lived here. I feel so lucky I’m in a position to be able to help and feel I get more out of it than it gets out of me.

On a more serious note, it’s truly frightening to see the amount of good fresh fruit and veg, other food stuff and many many household items that would otherwise go to landfill if it weren’t intercepted and fairly distributed by the Real Junk Food Project Birmingham. A great initiative.

Ladywood café – Marie


“It’s absolutely fantastic to come here. It’s so welcoming.”

Marie

Marie has volunteered at our Ladywood Café for around a year after being welcomed in whilst passing through the Ladywood Community Centre. She has no dependants or ties and offered her help with the boutique.

She says, running the cafe and cooking food for the public is a difficult job with lots of regulation involved. We are all in a community and we all need to work together if we want to get things done. It requires organisation. Supporting each other is a strong value for Marie who says even if people have no money, they are made to feel welcome to eat here in exchange for their help.

The café gives people a place to go despite their issues such as isolation and depression, something that Marie appreciates a lot.  There are good days and bad days.

The café is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 12 – 2pm and some have asked her why the café isn’t open throughout the week.

Marie has a sense of meaning and purpose since taking up her role at the
café and enjoys meeting the people that come in to eat including those most vulnerable such as women with babies and the elderly. She is especially keen to give her time to the elderly who are more vulnerable and prone to becoming isolated and lonely. She is drawn to give them company and help build up their trust. She wants to help where she can including taking shopping home for them.

Marie is inspired by the people who work at the café. Ann, the volunteer coordinator for the Real Junk Food Project Birmingham, has been a real inspiration for her as Marie has seen how much Ann manages in her diverse role with the project.

We want to thank Marie for her work as a volunteer and her time to speak to us.