From the ‘pay as you feel’ cafes transforming surplus food into feasts, to a restaurant that provides homeless people with fine dining – our pick of five projects that are democratising good food
1. Espresso yourself
The Real Junk Food Project, global
Turning organic food destined for the bin into tasty grub, the Real Junk Food Project serves up a generous portion of culinary democracy too. Customers visiting its 40 ‘pay as you feel’ cafes receive no bills, instead paying as little or as much as they can afford.
2. Hearty fare
Robin Hood, Spain
By day, Madrid’s Robin Hood is a cafe like any other, serving up typical Spanish dishes to paying customers. But after hours, owners use profits to fund free dining experiences for homeless people, complete with waiter service, tablecloths and flowers.
3. Another one bites the crust
Social Bite, Scotland
Stumble, bleary-eyed, into a Social Bite pay-it-forward cafe and you can help someone in need while your latte brews. Choose anything, pay, and a homeless person can claim your slice of kindness. Across five outlets, 150 homeless people are served every day. A quarter of staff were previously homeless too.
4. Healthy competition
This for-profit healthy restaurant chain has a tasty plan: pricing meals depending on where they’re sold. Customers in low-income neighbourhoods pay around half as much as their wealthier counterparts. Everytable has three restaurants in LA – and will have four in May.
5. No missed steak
Project Hand-in-Hand, Malaysia
This social enterprise has a solution for those without much cash to splash on groceries. Low-income householders in Singapore can pick up healthy goods from supermarkets in exchange for volunteer time, doing things such as keeping their street tidy or teaching a neighbour a new skill.
Featured image: volunteer servers at a Real Junk Food Project cafe by Thom Urdell
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