Planet Food York: a cafe for all

Living Lab bloggers Lauryn Wilson and Charlie Malbon interviewed Rosie Walker-Lyne, a third year York St John student of English Language and Linguistics who volunteers at Planet Food York. Rosemary had approached the Living Lab with the hopes of encouraging staff and students to get involved with Planet Food York. 

Ginger and Apple Jam in a jar

Ginger and apple jam made by Avril Walker-Lyne, ready to be sold at Planet Food!

Planet Food is a pay-as-you-feel café and food store located in Southlands Church. Supplied by both Fareshare and local supermarkets, Planet Food’s aim is to help the ecosystem by intercepting unwanted food that was meant to be taken to a landfill. As a way to help both the environment and the community Planet Food has opened a pay-as-you-feel café which everyone is welcome to. Rosie explained why the café operates this system: it is better for the economy than a free food bank as it means that Planet Food is able to sustain themselves longer, so the community has access to cheaper food! 

Due to the cost of living crisis, supermarkets are giving less to Planet Food as they have started to prioritise their workers. Rosie says: “Planet Food is asking anyone who has time to volunteer, specifically anyone who is able to run projects, whether that be an idea such as recipe bags or affordable meal recipes that you would like to share, or any innovating idea you believe you could bring to Planet Food. Any kitchen volunteers are also just as welcome!” Rosie describes Planet Food as a great place to socialise – in a recent survey the majority of those who visit said they come along due to the social element!

Selection of raw veg and fruit on a table

A variety of fruits and vegetables that can be used for tasty meals.

If you are interested in joining, head down to Southlands Church on a Thursday between 10:30-11am, where food is served until it runs out. There you may also be able to see the homemade jams made by Rosie’s mum Avril Walker Lyne. If the pay-as-you-feel food and volunteering doesn’t convince you enough, then maybe the yummy jams will! 

Links to Planet Food: