Did you know, over 1/3 of all food produced globally goes to waste? In the UK and Ireland alone, householders and businesses produce 1.3 billion and 1 million tonnes, respectively, of food waste every year. And with all this food wasted there is still so much food poverty! How?
The scandal of food waste and a declining sense of neighbourly connection are issues we all care deeply about so it is exciting to hear of the new revolution of food sharing apps that are helping to solve both of these issues.
FoodCloud, an Irish and UK based app, and OLIO, a worldwide app, are companies that are popping up in the media frequently these days, and for good reason.
OLIO and food Cloud are free apps that connect neighbours and charities with eachother and with local businesses, so surplus food and household items can be shared, not thrown away.
The OLIO app is open to anyone who wants to provide food or non-food items, such as furniture, clothes, toys, household and beauty products, which would otherwise go to waste. Food shared could be food nearing its sell-by date from local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from the local baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away, move home or go on a diet. The user simply snaps a photo of their item(s) and adds it to the app. Neighbours who live nearby receive customised alerts and can request anything that takes their fancy. Most items are offered for free, though users can also request a donation to charity for their listings.
On a global level, OLIO has been used in over 41 countries and over 300,000 items have been successfully shared between neighbours. OLIO has a flourishing volunteer network – over 12,000 people have reached out to the organisation requesting to become volunteers and save and redistribute food in their communities via OLIO.
FoodCloud is slightly different in that it is more business orientated; a food business with food waste can upload a description of the items on the app. A local charity linked to the app will be notified and they can then accept the food and collect it. In this way less money is spent on buying food for those in need and more money is available for the other services that the charities may offer.
In 2016, FoodCloud redistributed almost 800kg and 1.7 million kilos of food in Ireland and the UK, respectively. This food went to supply 329 charities in Ireland and 3,272 throughout the UK.
OLIO and FoodCloud are doing a great job at helping us reduce food waste and foster a sense of community through sharing. Will you join the revolution?
Download OLIO for free on android or iphone
For businesses: Download FoodCloud for free, available on the App store only
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