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OLIO unveils donations feature to support food waste charities

Food sharing app OLIO has announced the launch of its new donations feature in partnership with food charities Feedback and FareShare, giving users the opportunity to make a pay-as-you-feel donation to the charities while sharing their surplus food, opening another avenue in the fight against food waste.

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OLIO is a mobile app that allows users to advertise food they no longer need or will not be able to use for others to pick up for free. It was launched in 2016 and now connects around 200,000 users who have passed on over a quarter of a million items of food to each other and local shops and cafes.

The way the app works is that users take a photo of the food that they no longer have need for and upload it onto OLIO, where others can get in contact and come and collect the food, normally on the same day. This process is completely free but with the new donations feature, users can now request a pay-as-you-feel donation to Feedback or FareShare in exchange for the food, with OLIO hoping to develop partnerships with more charities in the future.

Feedback and FareShare have been selected as the first charities to benefit from OLIO’s new feature given their commitment to fighting food waste in the UK.

Feedback campaigns to end food waste and, through its Gleaning Network, takes volunteers to farms around the UK to collect unwanted fresh fruit and vegetables and get them to people that need them. FareShare, meanwhile, redistributes in-date surplus food from the food and drinks industry to community groups and charities.

Commenting on the new partnerships, OLIO Co-Founder Saasha Celestial-One said: ‘This is an exciting next step in our journey as we find new ways to encourage people to share their surplus food. By teaming up with Feedback and FareShare we are now making it even more meaningful for our users to share their spare and work to tackle the problem of food waste at scale.”

No time to waste

The issue of food waste is currently high on the agenda and the case for action is urgent. A third of all food produced around the world is thrown away each year, while UK households throw away £13 billion of edible food each year. This costs families an average £470 a year, according to a recent report by Parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee, ‘Food Waste in England’.

OLIO unveils donations feature to support food waste charities
FareShare redistributes surplus food for community groups and projects
A variety of apps have been developed to make it easier for people to find food that would otherwise be thrown away. Apps like Too Good To Go, which links users to restaurants with excess food and allows them to order surplus food at a discounted price, and NoFoodWasted, which notifies users of discounted food products near their ‘best-before’ date in shops in their area, are helping to reduce levels of food waste and create foodsharing communities and networks, all within a fingertip’s reach.

Moreover, apps like Neighbourly and FoodCloud, a partner of FareShare, help supermarkets to find outlets for their unwanted food by offering their excess food on the app which charities can then claim and collect, something particularly useful after supermarkets were urged to do more to combat food waste in EFRA’s food waste report.

“Food waste can be stopped wherever it occurs – whether that’s in your fridge, on supermarket shelves or on farms,” said Feedback’s Executive Director Carina Millstone. “Last year our volunteers gleaned 100 tonnes of fresh fruit and veg from farms around the UK, this year with your help we’ll smash that target and get even more delicious and nutritious food to people in need.’”

Fareshare’s Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell added: “FareShare provides good quality surplus food to almost 7,000 charities, including homeless hostels, breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children and domestic violence refuges. For every 25p donated through OLIO FareShare will be able to redistribute enough food for a frontline charity to serve up one nutritious meal for someone in need.”

You can read more about OLIO and other food sharing apps tackling food waste in Resource’s article ‘Six apps taking the fight to food waste’.

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