What is foodsharing?
Foodsharing.de is an online platform and real life community founded in 2012 that helps to save and redistribute surplus food to prevent foodwaste in Germany and Austria. It is managed by the Foodsharing association (foodsharing e.V.).
How can you participate?
There are two basic levels to the foodsharing.de platform.
Individuals who want to avoid foodwaste at home can register on the platform to become so-called foodsharers. They can then upload virtual food baskets with the food they do not manage to eat themselves for pickup by whomever wants to consume their contents.
Those who want to fight foodwaste more actively can take a quiz and become a foodsaver. Foodsavers are those volunteers who pick up leftover foods from cooperating sellers, such as bakeries, organic shops, markets, but also wholesellers and large supermarket chains. To become a food saver, you have to take a quiz on foodsharing’s guidelines and food safety standards. Once you have passed this quiz, you have to go to three food pickups with experienced food savers who show you the ropes.
How do the cooperations work?
It is important to know that a food saver cannot just pop by any shop to pick up their leftover produce and other food items. There has to be an official cooperation which is typically started by food savers by asking a supermarket or bakery if they want to cooperate. Once a shop agrees, the pickups are coordinated via teams on the foodsharing platform where you can write your name into the pickup slots provided.
Once in the shop, most often in the delivery zone in the back, there are usually crates with food that would normally go to waste. We food savers go though the crates, split up the food between us, throwing away the produce which is not save to eat any more.
What do we do with the rescued food?
When we are done, we are free to do whatever we want with the food, as long as we do not sell it or do not throw it away. Foodsavers might put virtual baskets with the food that is too much for them to use up. They might distribute surplus food to neighbours, friends and colleagues. Or they take it to a Fairteiler, (teiler = sharer) a foodsharing community pantry or fridge. Everybody can take out whatever they want or need and put in whatever they want, as long as it is not past its sell-by date.