You know how it happens, you over cater for guests, plans change, or you buy lots of food to keep up with family demand and then suddenly everyone is sick of it. However you end up with excess food, sharing it is a fabulous way to ensure it doesn’t get wasted. Sharing food also makes us feel great because it helps us build connections with family, friends, neighbours and others in our community. In fact, dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.
Here are eight feel-good ways to share your excess food:
1. Donate your excess food to a school breakfast club or pre-school. If you have a lot of fruit you could send it to school with your child for the class to share. You might really make a difference to a child’s day.
2. Contact your local council to find a community food program like a charity or cooking school that could use your food donation.
3. Surprise your neighbour with a friendly smile and a chat to ask them if they would like the food.
4. Visit a relative you haven’t seen for a while and take some food with you.
5. Create a Facebook messenger group of nearby friends to give away excess food. I do this with my friends and we send messages like: “I have heaps of passionfruit, anyone want any?”
6. Take it to a produce swap. Produce swaps have become very popular in recent years so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one. The focus is on swapping homegrown produce but you could ask if your excess store-bought produce can be included too. By bringing your produce you are saying that you are happy for anyone to take what they need because it is excess to your needs. In return you can take as much or as little as you need. Read more: Home Grown Produce Swapping.
7. Join a social media ‘buy, swap, sell, give away’ group based in your local community and see if you can make a trade. Here are some Gippsland examples: Gippsland Swap and Sell Natural Produce, South Gippsland, Bass, and Surrounds Good Food Collective, Gippsland Community Produce Market Sale or Barter. There are also online tools like RipeNearMe. If you know of others, go ahead and provide links to them in the comments.
8. Start a swap table at work or some other meeting place like playgroup or the local cafe. Just leave what you have for others to take, and take what you can use. Olive At Loch Cafe are doing this near me.
Do you have any other ideas for sharing excess food? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.