We REfUSE to be part of a wasteful world.
We need to RE-think. We REscue, REclaim and RE-use, so that good food doesn’t become REfUSE.
REfUSE is a not-for-profit social enterprise which intercepts food that would otherwise go to waste. Our vision is to reveal the true value of things, places and people that are unjustly wasted or overlooked.
REfUSE is the local branch of The Real Junk Food Project, a network of organisations challenging criminal levels of food waste. 30-40% of food produced globally is either left rotting in fields, lost along the food supply chain or dumped into landfill. We intercept tonnes of perfectly good food due to scandalous systematic problems, overproduction, strict cosmetic standards, damaged packaging, unhelpful ‘best before’ dates, cancelled orders or just incorrect labelling. As part of TRJFP we also seek to raise awareness at an individual, industry and government level about the environmental implications of food waste.
REfUSE Cafe in Chester-le-Street was built October 2017-March 2018 by the community, for the community. It is run by volunteers, serving only food that would otherwise have been wasted on a ‘Pay As You Feel’ basis. PAYF means guests can pay for their meals in cash, but non-monetary donations of time or skills are just as valuable. We believe PAYF encourages us to think about the true value of food: the resources, time and energy that has gone into producing it, but also includes and empowers those who may struggle to afford food.
Since opening in April 2018, we have recused 28 Tonnes food from going to waste, and served an estimated 8685 meals.