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This new Ripon cafe is helping the environment AND the community

pay as you feel cafe Ripon

Published by Lisa Darvill at 5:13pm 19th March 2019.

A new cafe in Ripon is aiming to help the environment and make a difference in the community. 

  • The Wholemeal Cafe uses food destined for landfill 
  • It's also 'pay as you feel' 
  • Organisers hope as well as reducing food waste, it will tackle issues such as social isolation 
  • The cafe is open every Thursday between 11am-2pm at Ripon Community House  

The Wholemeal Cafe opened its doors on 21st February. 

The cafe is part of national initiative 'The Real Junk food Project', which uses food destined for landfill. 

There are no prices and customers can pay whatever they like for the food. 

Ripon wholemeal cafe
Ripon's Wholemeal cafe is part of The Real Junk food Project

It's been set up by Janet Slater and Alison Scott and is staffed by volunteers. 

Alison told Stray FM: 

"If you come in here with no money in your pocket or your purse, it matters not a jot. 

"But if you've got a £20 note and you put that in the box, that's wonderful as well. 

"Or you can pay in kind as well and say next week I'll come and wash up."

Ripon wholemeal cafe
The cafe is based at Ripon Community House

Alison says she was inspired to set up the cafe after visiting a 'pay as you feel' cafe in Saltaire. 

She added: 

"I read about the ethos of The Real Junk Food Project and decided I definitely wanted to open one here in Ripon because it's such a fabulous idea.

"You are feeding people who maybe can't afford to have a square meal every week.

"It's also created a happy, comfortable, warm environment that tackles the problem of social isolation as well." 

Ripon wholemeal cafe
Volunteers with founders Janet Slater (3rd from left) and Alison Scott (2nd from right)

But Alison says one of the main issues the project tackles is the environment:

"The wholesale removal of rain forest to turn into grazing land for cattle produces meat at a terrible cost to the planet. 

"Too much meat is produced and some reaches our shores never to see a plate, cannot be sold and goes straight to landfill.

"The tendency to buy pre-packaged, pre-prepared food means fewer people handle and enjoy time spent with food in its original state."

The Wholemeal Cafe runs every Thursday morning between 11am and 2pm at Ripon Community House.

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