Frying Pan

Adam Smith | Public Statement

Posted by Adam 24 Sep 2019

On 22nd February 2013, I was on a farm in Shepparton, North Melbourne, Australia and I came up with the idea to feed people with food waste and let them pay anything they wanted.

The Real Junk Food Project PAYF was formed.
6 years later, the project has fed over 12 million people and stopped 5000 tons of food from becoming waste.

Professionally it has been the greatest achievement in my career. It has been an absolute honour to hold the position of CEO and formerly a trustee.

As you all know, this success has come with a sacrifice. I have struggled to juggle my personal & professional life and this is solely my responsibility.

My son Joshua is now in year one at school and I have missed so much of his development.

My daughter is due any day now, and myself and Faith have committed to ensuring we give her the best start and opportunities in life.

After 6 years of ups and downs, sacrifices and rewards, I regret to inform you all that I will be stepping down from all of my roles associated with TRJFP.

I can assure you that this has not been an easy decision to make. TRJFP has been my life for so long and maybe this is part of my problem.

My notice period is 4 weeks; however, I intend to stay until 6 years’ worth of contacts and work have been passed over to the board of both the CIO & CIC in full, and that I leave the C.I.C. in a somewhat healthy financial position.

Since the beginning of January 2019, I have been in weekly therapy to process over 15 years’ worth of trauma and to become a better version of myself. Recently, for various personal and professional reasons, my mental health has taken a turn for the worst.

In the past year I have moved house several times, suffered financially, lost very close friends and lost out on a lot of valuable time with my family.

I am not seeking sympathy. All I am asking is for an understanding into how I have reached this decision, respect and sensitivity of my situation whilst I go through this process.

All beginnings have an end. All ends born new life, and I intend on enjoying this, the birth of my daughter and precious time with my family.

I want to thank every one of you that I have crossed paths with. I have made mistakes and upset people along this journey, and I apologise to all of you for how I have made you feel.

Having recently discovered that I appear on the autism spectrum, it has made my life somewhat more difficult, and my interactions with people have deteriorated.

Again, this is not an excuse, rather something I require the time to work on with my family.

To every person that believed in my vision and joined this passionate journey, I am eternally grateful to you. You all contributed to making this world a better place for the rest of us and to expose the issue of food waste to the world. I truly believe that things will change for the better, and I hope my energy has contributed to this.

Without whinging on and getting all emotional, I would like to end without sounding to cliched.

The power of change is within us all. A kid from Beeston, who was thrown out of school, sectioned to High Royds hospital, ended up in care and later in prison, decided to step forward and speak out about the injustices of this world and tried to do something about it. That kid could have been anyone. It could be you. Nothing is stopping you.

Always do the right thing
Adam Smith
TRJFP Founder & CEO