|Photo: Real Food Project Web site|
In just 10 months he has fed 10,000 people on 20 tonnes of unwanted food, raising over £30,000. The cafe has had such resonance in a world with such high food wastage and high hunger levels it has inspired 47 other "pay as you feel" cafes to spring in the past few months in Manchester, Bristol, Saltaire – with the concept even exported as far away as Los Angeles and Brazil, Warsaw and Zurich. Article in The Independent newspaper, December 16, 2014
Punter is not a word we use frequently in the United States. According to the Cambridge Dictionaries Online, the word refers to "a customer; a user of services or buyer of goods." This is something that we probably deduced from context as we read the above quote.
The article in The Independent centers on the efforts of Adam Smith, a trained chef, to collect some of the food that has been disposed (even breaking some food-safety laws) and using it to prepare meals for low-income patrons of his cafe in Leeds. Through his efforts, other similar eateries have sprung up in Britain and other countries.
"We believe it is indefensible that huge numbers of people are going hungry in a country which wastes such vast quantities of food that is fit for consumption," said an all-party report into Hunger in Britain whilst urging the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to set food retailers and manufacturers targets of doubling the proportion of surplus food they redistribute to food assistance providers and other voluntary organisations," said the newspaper.
The big picture
While the report highlighted Smith's heroic efforts, The Independent did not neglect the big picture. "The publication of [the] all-party report into Hunger in Britain revealed 4m people in the UK were at risk of going hungry, while 3.5m adults could not afford to feed themselves properly, and 272 food banks had sprung up across the UK," said the article. "Britain experienced the highest rate of food inflation in the world the report said, rising 47% since 2003, compared with 30.4% in the United States, 22.1% in Germany and 16.7% in France."
"After the report was released, Conservative peer Baroness Jenkin of Kennington sparked controversy by saying that hunger in Britain was caused in part because people didn't know how to cook."
See the full article in The Independent The Daily Mail also ran a piece on the Leeds cafe.