Reading Time: 2 minutes The menu board at the pop-up bistro (Photo: The Light, Leeds)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

An innovative pop-up serving low price food to families has been launched in Yorkshire.

Trained chefs take leftover food that would otherwise have gone to waste, and cook it into nutritious vegan meals, which are served at Old School Junk pop-up bistro in Leeds.

Families pay as much or as little as they can afford for their meals.

Hungry children

The Old School Junk project has been launched amid evidence that some children show signs of malnutrition when they return to school after the long summer holiday.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, up to 4,500 children in Leeds may be going hungry during the holidays.

Because some parents rely on free school dinners, they cannot afford to feed their children properly for the six-week break.

A spokesperson for the project said: “The provision of Free School Meals across schools ensures children are able to be fed and nourished throughout term time. But what happens when the schools close for the holidays?

“Holiday Hunger is an issue faced by many families across the country. Fuel for School helps to bridge the gap created when the term time ends and the holidays begin.


The project is the result of a collaboration between Fuel for School – an organization that tackles child hunger in the UK – and dining and leisure complex The Light in Leeds.

The spokesperson said: “Fuel for School, in partnership with The Real Junk Food Project, is delighted to be joining forces with The Light Leeds to open a ‘pop-up’ food market and restaurant to provide access to food for families throughout the six weeks holidays. 

“Using food that would otherwise have been sent to waste, people will be able to visit The Light Monday to Saturday between 10.00am – 4.00pm and ‘Pay As They Feel’ for food to take away, or sit down and enjoy a meal in the restaurant of the café, Old School Junk.”

In addition, activities including board games, circus skills, and crafts are on offer.


Speaking about the project – which also aims to spread awareness of both child hunger and food waste – The Light Deputy Center Manager Gemma Chidgey, said: “Old School Junk is an extremely exciting project and something we are all proud of and passionate about. 

“Research shows that during the school holidays up to three million children will go hungry as they rely on school meals to feed and nourish them. 

“This project looks to raise awareness of this and food waste, creating a space for children to eat and enjoy time with family and friends.” 

Old School Junk, which has taken over a renovated unit in the courtyard of The Light, will be running until September 2.


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Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.