UK’s first food-waste supermarket opens near Leeds

The food waste market allows needy shoppers to buy on a "pay as you feel" basis, and if they can't pay with money, they can pay with their time.

pay what you wish food waste market
A new market near Leeds, England, stocks edible food discarded from supermarkets for needy shoppers. Image: The Real Junk Food Project via Citiscope

Supermarkets often throw away food that expires, even if it’s still edible. Hazel Sheffield reports for the Independent that a new market near Leeds, England, stocks this unwanted food for needy shoppers. The items are priced on a “pay as you feel basis,” the article says.

The market, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, is located in Pudsey, a town that is part of metropolitan Leeds. Food activists from the Real Junk Food Project, a global network of “pay as you feel” cafes, opened the facility, Sheffield reports. They hope to replicate this model in every UK city. Additional markets already are planned for the english cities of Sheffield and Bradford.

The no-frills market is designed to help indigent people, including families struggling to feed children. For some customers, the store has become an essential lifeline, the Independent says. If they can’t pay with money, they can volunteer their time and talents.

This story is published with permission from Citiscope, a nonprofit news outlet that covers innovations in cities around the world. More at

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