Plans are in motion to set up a new café in Watford serving edible food thrown away by supermarkets.

Teaching assistant Jane Johnson, 48, is crowdfunding to establish the Random Café in permanent lodgings in the town, although she admits she may have to start small as a pop-up venture.

As part of an altruistic service to those worse off in the community, she will employ a “pay as you feel” system for her dishes rather than fixed prices so people can pay as much or as little as they like.

“We have got a lot of homeless and low income people in Watford. Nurses and NHS staff are finding it really tough because wages aren’t going up. People want access to food as cheap as possible,” she said.

“It’s for people on low incomes, people on no income, people who just want to save money and the planet.”

She hopes that eventually up to 90 per cent of the food used at the not-for-profit café will come from supermarkets which would otherwise have thrown it away, even though it is still in date.

And Mrs Johnson intends to use the café - as part of global initiative The Real Junk Food Project - to raise awareness about food waste as well as just providing tasty treats to her customers.

She said she came up with the idea while sitting in another socially-minded community café: the now closed Reason Coffee Shop and Bookstore.

“I was sitting in Reason coffee shop and was thinking about doing a no plastic shop, then this idea came up and I thought ‘that’s what I want to do’,” she said.

“So many people go by the use by date and throw food away when it’s still edible. Something like 15 million tonnes of perfectly edible food is wasted in this country every year.”

Mrs Johnson says £15,000 would get the project running at full capacity immediately, although just a few hundred pounds would enable a run pop-up operation to run regularly in churches and village halls around Watford, starting as early as next month.

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