Tim Holtam’s number popped up on my mobile the other day. He runs Brighton Table Tennis Club and, as I answered, I was thinking I’d be having to get my trainers on and pop down for another rally with table tennis champion Wen Wei Xu.
But Tim was calling to invite me to join him for lunch in the St John the Baptist Church Hall. A lot less exertion I thought to myself as I happily accepted.
When I arrived, I was met with the delicious aroma of hot curry bubbling away in giant trays, dishes of home-made chutney, freshly cooked rice and crispy poppadoms.
I recognised quite a few people having lunch and there was a real buzz of conversation and laughter.
Some were friends and neighbours, others from community projects or people I bump into because they work near by.
But best of all was seeing people who often rely on food banks tucking into a hot meal.
People pay as they feel so it is affordable for all. This makes the café a place for meeting and making new friends, everyone equal and in the same place, with no stigma attached. All are welcome.
Chatting to Tim over lunch, he told me more about this café which is a collaboration between the Real Junk Food Project, the church, Brighton Table Tennis Club and Brighton Voices in Exile.
Around a quarter to a third of food goes to waste globally. That’s roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of food that could be feeding people but ends up in landfill.
The Real Junk Food Project rescues food directly from supermarkets, local shops, wholesalers and even from the field.
They have written agreements with the retailers they work with. That means there’s no rummaging through bins to get you your lunch!
I enjoyed the most delicious hot lunch at the newest Real Junk Food Café – if you can, please do pop in and enjoy one too.
This particular one opens every Wednesday from 1pm to 2.30pm and there are others in Old Shoreham Road, Hollingdean Community Centre and One Church, Gloucester Place.
If you’d like to support the project and feed bellies, not bins, you can become a patron from £5 a month http://www.realjunkfoodbrighton.co.uk/patrons or pop in and enjoy a hot meal and pay what you can.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.
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