On the 26th September a Pay-As-You-Feel Café is launching in Lancaster. Natalie, one of people behind setting up the café, writes about the café and what it hopes to become.

People's café Pay-As-You-Feel cafés are popping up in all the  major cities in the UK, and Lancaster will soon  join them on the 26th September – affiliating  itself with The Real Junk Food Project.

Lancaster People’s Café hates to see hungry  people and food wasted. With more than one  million people in the UK using food banks in  the last year, and approximately 15 million  tonnes of good edible food going annually to  landfill, there is a lot of scope for improvement  and joined up thinking.


Lancaster People’s Café will therefore (in the long-term), provide delicious meals made from fresh ingredients, 90% of which would have gone to ‘waste’.

Waste food simply means good, fresh and delicious food that is no longer saleable because:

  • it has damaged packaging
  • is surplus to requirement
  • it has passed its sell-by date.

Bad or dirty food of course goes straight onto the compost heap, in the anaerobic digester, is fed to pigs or goes in the bin!

The Pay-As-You-Feel café ethos lends itself to creating micro-communities where all participants feel useful and wanted for the skills they bring to the table.

In return for a meal café guests can offer cash, help with the washing up, make a poster, provide more food, or even play a song!

The 26th September launch event is essentially a fundraiser, with food being cooked by project volunteers rather than from waste sources. The ongoing project will then focus on sourcing good food which is about to be wasted – providing healthy meals and nutrition and cooking knowledge.

We hope many of the launch’s guests will feel able to make a small financial contribution towards the delicious soups, bread and cakes on offer.

All Soup and Cake donations will then go towards setting up a regular café. It will help us in finding a regular venue for the cafe, finding suitable storage for intercepted food, and will cover transport costs for volunteers.

So come and share soup and cake to raise funds for Lancaster’s first Pay-As-You-Feel café at:

The Friend’s Meeting House, Meeting House lane, Lancaster, LA1  1TX. The event will run from 12:00-15:00.

Also, if you know of a Lancaster venue that is willing to loan its kitchen to the cause for at least a day a month, please email lancasterpeoplescafe@gmail.com


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