With the increase in the price of food in recent weeks, many people are struggling to put food on the table, and this is where the apps such as OLIO and Too Good To Go come in handy, as they help provide for your family, at a fraction of the cost of buying food from your local supermarket.
I have spoken about Too Good To Go many times before, but realised I haven't given OLIO a mention and being this is a totally free app to use, plus the food and non-food items available on the app are TOTALLY FREE, it most certainly needs to be highlighted!
As I say, OLIO is a free app that exists to tackle the enormous problem of food waste. It does this by connecting neighbours and volunteers with local businesses so that surplus food can be given away, not thrown away. It can also be used to give away other spare household items and to buy and sell homemade food and handmade crafts.
OLIO is well known for its work in tackling food waste, linking neighbours and businesses to share surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. Half of all food added to the app is requested within 21 minutes of posting!
It has recently launched an initiative with all 2,700 of Tesco’s stores, taking food nearing the end of its shelf life and redistributing it locally via volunteers known as Food Waste Heroes.
Since the pandemic's beginning, OLIO has grown fivefold in terms of the number of listings coming onto the app. It has also passed the milestone of over 4.5 million community members, with half of these based in the UK.
Since launch, OLIOers have shared 25 million portions of food, which has had an environmental impact equivalent to taking 75 million car miles off the road, saved 3.8 billion litres of water, and prevented 22k tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.
OLIO is a free app that exists to tackle the enormous problem of food waste. It does this by connecting neighbours and volunteers with local businesses so that surplus food can be given away, not thrown away. It can also be used to give away other spare household items and to buy and sell homemade food and handmade crafts. To use OLIO, you simply snap a photo of your item and add it to the app. Neighbours then receive an alert, can browse through the listings and request what they want, and then pop round to pick it up. Half of all food listings are requested in under 30 minutes, and half of all non-food listings are requested in under 4 hours. OLIO has 5 million users who have together shared over 25 million portions of food and 3 million household items – this has had an environmental impact equivalent to taking 80 million car miles off the road and has saved 4 billion litres of water.
Since its launch five years ago, OLIO has broadened its offer to include the free sharing of household items such as toiletries, kitchen appliances, books, clothes and toys; as well as providing guidance on how to live more sustainably via its GOALS feature, which offers prompts on how to live in a more planet-positive way. The MADE marketplace is the most recent addition to the app, providing an opportunity for local makers to buy and sell homemade foods and handmade crafts, enabling its community to have a second income stream based on selling sustainable goods to those on the app.
It's a great way to make use of somebody else's excess food and non-food items and can save you a fair amount of money. The area I'm located in has a significant app user base, with dozens of freebies added every day. Although I've never requested any of the freebies, I've offered several excess food items to anybody that wanted them. These have always been taken, which is excellent, as it's meant I've helped someone put food on the table, and also saved food from being thrown away and wasted, and that's a good feeling all round...
OLIO is for anything edible, whether it's loose, raw, cooked, opened, unopened etc. There are guidelines, but generally speaking, if it’s food you would eat, then it’s okay to share on OLIO.
You can share food that is past its *Best Before date. This date refers to the quality and shelf life of a product, not safety. You are not allowed to share food that is past its **Use By date.
*The 'best before' date is found on frozen, dried and canned food; it simply indicates when a food is at its best. It is safe to buy, share or eat food after the 'best before' date. The government has actually considered scrapping 'best before' dates to help prevent food waste because it often gives a misleading impression that food is no longer suitable for consumption.
** The 'use by' date is found on fresh, chilled, and perishable items. It is illegal for a business to sell food or for OLIOers to hand over food after the 'use by' date, as it could be harmful to health.
You can download the OLIO app on their WEBSITE for free.
How to add an item to OLIO
How to request an item from OLIO