Olio has added a donation feature to its food sharing app to encourage users to donate to food waste charities.
As well as incentivising users to share more of their surplus food, the app now lets its users raise money for good causes, with Feedback and FareShare the first charities that will benefit from the move.
Olio is a free app that connects neighbours with one other and with local shops and cafes so that surplus food can be shared and not thrown away. Users take a picture of their items and add them to Olio for others to collect – with collection typically taking place on the same day.
Through the new donations feature, users can now add food and other household items to the app and request a pay-as-you-feel donation to the charity of their choice, with Feedback and FareShare the initial beneficiaries.
Feedback is an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste at every level of the food system. Their Gleaning Network takes volunteers into farms up and down the country to collect fresh fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted and get them to people in need.
FareShare, meanwhile, is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, delivering good quality, in-date surplus food from the food and drink industry to charities and community groups supporting vulnerable people.
Olio co-founder Saasha Celestial-One commented: “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.”
The case for action against food waste is more pressing than ever, according to Olio. Globally, a third of all food produced is thrown away, and in the UK, households collectively bin over £13 billion of edible food per year, at a cost of £700 to the average family, according to sustainability charity Wrap. Food waste is also one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Olio seeks to address these problems by tapping into the sharing economy and engaging with the local community.
Launched in the UK last year, it now has 200,000 users, providing a platform for over a quarter of a million items of food to be shared. This is equivalent to 51 tonnes of food or 114,000 meals.