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Savvy couple save hundreds by using food waste catering company for their wedding

MSN 2019-08-12 14:06:00

A savvy couple saved hundreds of pounds at their wedding by feeding guests food which would have otherwise been wasted.

Kayley and Joe Tilston presented their friends and family with a feast including canapés, salad and a barbecue, created using 250 kg of perfectly edible surplus food.

The thrifty couple paid just £5 per head for the three-hour feast, saving around £20 per person.

The catering was provided by The Real Junk Food Project, a Wakefield-based organisation which campaigns to use food which might not otherwise be eaten.

The organisation aims to reduce the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally every year – a third of what is produced.

The food used is not rubbish saved from the bin, but items which have gone to waste through over-ordering, mislabelling or generally being overlooked.

The couple, who married on Sunday at Victoria Hall in Saltaire, West Yorkshire, said the food was “absolutely amazing.”

Mrs Tilston, 34, told the Standard: “Myself and Joe were aware of the project after trying some of their food at Trinity Kitchen, a street food venue in Leeds.

“We had almost 300 mouths to feed for our wedding and we were so impressed, they really fit with our values.

“We always try to be ethical and are really conscious about food waste, I never want to throw any away and it’s made us a lot more creative with our cooking at home.

“It was a no-brainer for us to tap into a local ethical project like this.

“The founder, Adam, is so enthusiastic and was really up for doing it, so we thought we’d give it a go.

“They were absolutely amazing and we had such great feedback from our guests.

“What I managed to eat what incredible and they kept the food flowing for three hours.”

The environmentally-conscious couple also recycled many of their decorations, repurposing old items to decorate the Grade-II listed hall.

Mrs Tilston, a lead therapist for children with learning disabilities, added: “We saved a hell of a lot of money, too – it was around £5 a head instead of £25, which is the usual cost for wedding catering."

She and her musician husband, 35, said the buffet helped give the event a festival feel while raising awareness for The Real Junk Food Project.

Mrs Tilston added: “There was plenty of food and it gave the event a festival feel, we’d never had silver service in our plans.

“A lot of people weren’t aware of the project before, so this helped to raise awareness and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

“We didn’t tell people beforehand because we thought some of our guests might have preconceptions about it, but we got such positive feedback.

“None of the food was from the bin or had been anywhere near one – a lot of it was just surplus and was actually fresher than the stuff on supermarket shelves. We fed so many people and felt positive about it too.”

Set up by Adam Smith in 2013, The Real Junk Food Project intercepts food across a 5000 sq mile area of West Yorkshire and makes it available to all on a Pay As You Feel basis.

Everything is processed and quality controlled at the Sharehouse in Wakefield by volunteers before being distributed for individuals, cafes, event catering, schools and community.

Since the project began in 2013, it has inspired over 120 projects globally at its peak, with Wakefield as project HQ.

Mr Smith said: “Catering for a wedding with surplus food epitomises the atrocity of the environment issues facing us all.

“TRJFP will provide food for 280 guests, showcasing our talents, the quality and range of food, and the scandal of what is needlessly wasted.

“We are very proud and honoured that Kayley and Joe have invited us to cater for their big day, and even more excited to see their guests reaction at the big reveal, after they’ve consumed surplus food.”