THE REAL JUNK FOOD PROJECT (TRJFP)
My journey as a social documentary photographer started in April 2015. To fulfil personal ambitions, I had taken on an enterprise role in a third sector, community based organisation six months prior. It was at this time that I came across a pay-as-you-feel café in a disadvantaged area of Bradford in which I was working, something that I had never heard of before. In essence, the cafe intercepts waste or surplus food that’s headed for a landfill, cooks the food, and feeds it to clients on a pay-as-you-feel basis. I was blown away by the concept.
My next step was to find one near where I resided and I came across one in Saltaire, that fell under ‘The Real Junk Food Project’ umbrella – a UK wide network of cafes that had started in Armley in late 2013. I started off as a Saturday volunteer, and then eventually realized that nobody was documenting this ground breaking movement, that was potentially revolutionizing the way people perceived food. I approached the founder, Adam Smith, who gave me his blessing to document the cafes, and thus began a ten month exploration of over forty five cafes in the UK network.
It culminated in two celebrated exhibitions in Saltaire. The first exhibition launched successfully in December 2015. The second offered a revision of the original, with new pictures from a more expansive second tour. The exhibition ended as a highlighted feature of the highly acclaimed Saltaire Arts Trail 2016.
These are some of the images that I captured from my time with The Real Junk Food Project.