Loretto Junior School's Real Junk Food Cafe Event
24th July 2015

LORETTO Junior School recently organised a feast that they hope will be just the start of an exciting new Real Junk Food venture.

The School handed over duties to Loretto Junior School's Year 6 pupils and helped them plan and deliver a feast fit for royalty.

Loretto Junior School pupils hosted a good number of diners - parents, supporters, keen followers and members of the public.

'The Future of Food' is the June theme for Scotland's Year of Food & Drink. Could this be a template for schools around Scotland to follow, giving those with most at stake hands-on opportunities to challenge the future of our food system?



The pupils - one of whom came to us with the idea herself - worked alongside volunteers from The Real Junk Food Project to serve the food on the night. Beforehand, pupils were working to build awareness not only of waste, but all the aspects of food central to The Real Junk Food Project - provenance, preparation, nutrition and, most importantly, community.

(Background - The Real Junk Food Project: Feeding bellies not bins!)

The aim of the project is to raise awareness of the issue of food waste, help people to eat and cook better and instigate change towards a more sustainable, efficient and just food system.

We intercept food that will otherwise go to waste and serve it in creative ways in our pop up cafes across the city. Currently, we are working mainly with small local businesses to source food but we hope soon to collaborate with larger retailers and producers in order to better address the scale of the problem, create more links in the system and feed more people.

The cafes operate a Pay As You Feel (PAYF) policy, enabling the food poor and those with means to pay for their food to eat together, developing a sense of community and awareness of local food insecurity. We hope this will also encourage a different way of thinking about the value of food as a resource.



The staff are volunteers and we will provide training opportunities, as well as cooking workshops for a more general purpose with a focus on avoiding waste and eating responsibly. We anticipate the majority of funds raised will be used to invest training, as well as equipment and operating costs Any surplus will be donated to democratically-selected charities.

We are developing strong relationships and a network of support from local businesses and community projects. Our primary supporter is the Union of Genius, whose cafe on Forrest Road provides our fortnightly Sunday lunchtime pop-up venue. With evening events planned at The Edinburgh Larder Cafe on Blackfriars Street and Breadshare in Portobello once a month each, we are now able to run a weekly pop-up thanks to the enormous generosity of these three organisations.

Towards the summer of 2015, we will start running weekday pop-ups in different venues with the aim of attracting and building different communities. We want to establish The Real Junk Food Project as a basis for many food communities, and one greater food community, in Edinburgh; communities with healthy, social, progressive, responsible, active and happy attitudes to food and with ample access to it.)


Loretto School

Set in a leafy campus just outside Edinburgh near East Lothian's coastline, Loretto provides an all‐round education for around 630 boys and girls – boarders and day pupils ‐ aged 0‐18. The School is made up of two parts: the Junior School ('The Nippers') for children aged 0‐12, and the Senior School for those aged 12‐18.

Founded in 1827 as Scotland's original boarding school, Loretto is well known for its relaxed family atmosphere, traditional values and emphasis on the development of the whole person, mind, body and spirit. 

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