Hosting a food swap
Hosting a food swap is a great (and delicious) way to get to know your neighbours while enabling you to share your surplus and reduce your waste. Many of the shared items are homemade and homegrown, from jars of pickles to home-baked bread. No money is traded, only food, flavours and smiles. Here’s our tips on putting one on.
Spread the word online
Setting up a Facebook event is a really effective way of spreading the word. If you’re looking to meet new, like-minded people, neighbourhood forums, such as Streetlife, are a great avenue for social outreach. Remember to ask attendees to RSVP via email, Facebook, or a registration service like Eventbrite so you can keep track on who’s coming. Why not tweet about it, creating your own hashtag (e.g. #HackneyFoodSwap).
If you’re just looking to invite people in your neighbourhood, then good old fashioned word of mouth is best. Obviously, you need to spread the word wisely - you don’t want to be inviting the entire neighbourhood to your modest dwellings.
Locate a venue
This could be your front room, your garden, a park, or a community centre. Just make sure there’s plenty of space for people to showcase their wares.
Get creative with visuals
An eye-catching image with details of the swap will grab people’s attention. Simply write details of your swap on a piece of paper, place some food around it, then take a picture. Here’s one we made for our food swap in 2015 during Global Sharing Week...
Let the swapping commence! Make sure you specify when the actual swapping is to take place. Food swaps usually last for about a couple of hours, so it’s best to do the swapping in the second hour, allowing the first hour for mingling, eyeing the supply and of course, the bartering.
If any food remains unclaimed at the end of the swap, why not pop it on OLIO? Did you know that one third of all food produced - approximately 1.3 billion tonnes - is wasted worldwide, so you’ll be doing something positive, while keeping the food sharing fun going.
Good luck and have fun!
By Tessa Cook, Co-Founder of OLIO