Random Café supported by Mayor’s Small Grants Fund to help town become carbon neutral

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor has awarded Random Café – a community hub which uses waste food donations from supermarkets- over £1870 from his Small Grants Fund...

Published: Sunday, 6th June 2021
Random cafe elected mayor peter taylor with jane johnson founder of the random caf pre covid
Random Café - Elected Mayor Peter Taylor with Jane Johnson, founder of the Random Café (photo taken pre-Covid)

As part of the council’s ambitious goal to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030, the Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor has awarded Random Café – a community hub which uses waste food donations from supermarkets- over £1870 from his Small Grants Fund.

In July 2019, Watford Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency and set out the commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of the borough. The challenge of global warming and pollution is one of the biggest threats facing the world and it has been predicted that unless action is taken, we are 10 years away from the effects becoming irreversible, with drastic results.

To become more sustainable, it will require making big changes to the way we all live, travel and work and therefore, the Elected Mayor Peter Taylor, prioritised green and sustainable projects in this year’s Small Grants funding programme, including the amazing work by Jane Johnson and her team of volunteers at Random Café.

The Random Café – which is currently operating three days a week - is a pop up cafe helping Watford reduce the amount of food wasted in the town, thereby making it a greener and more environmentally friendly town. They use food donated by local supermarkets and cafes that would usually go to landfill for a variety of reasons including damaged packaging, over ordering, end of a promotion and past its best before date.

Random Café pop-up

Random Café pop-up shop offered on a Pay As You Feel basis, making it accessible to those on the lowest incomes.

They supply hot fresh meals, snacks and hot drinks to those in need in the local community, helping to ensure that nobody goes hungry. Any fruit, vegetables and cupboard items they have left are offered to customers in their mini market and this is offered on a Pay As You Feel basis, where customers can donate anything from just a few pennies to several pounds for the food, making it accessible to those on the lowest incomes.

Random Café - Jane Johnson, founder of the Random Café at Meriden Gardens

Random Café - Jane Johnson, founder of the Random Café at Meriden Gardens

Last year, they secured a permanent site at The Meriden Gardens, which houses the fulltime café, the shop, an allotment growing space to grow produce on site and also space for social, educational and craft groups. The funding from the Mayor’s Small Grants Fund will go towards the cost of keeping their electric van operational as this is vital for the collections of food donations, food distribution and moving equipment for the site regeneration.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: "A key part of the Sustainability Action Plan and becoming carbon neutral by 2030 looks at people power - harnessing the energy and drive of residents to make changes on a local level. Nothing captures this more than the work of Random Café, who are dedicated to saving food waste and bringing essential items to those in need. Not only that, they also use electric vehicles to transport their food which further helps the environment. I’m really happy that the funding will go towards keeping the van operational, so they can continue to support people across the borough.”

Jane Johnson, founder of the Random Café said: “This is such an exciting project with a strong focus on sustainability as well as offering something truly needed in the area with the pay as you can ethos in the pop-up shop and future café. I’m so thankful for the support of the Mayor’s Small Grants Fund to keep the electric van operational, so we can continue to do our vital work”.

For more information, please visit randomcafewatford.com or email randomcafeuk@gmail.com.

Random Café - Elected Mayor Peter Taylor with Jane Johnson, founder of the Random Café

Random Café - Elected Mayor Peter Taylor with Jane Johnson, founder of the Random Café

 

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