Schemes such as Sweden’s Lantmannen have already attempted to connect people with leftover food using a dating format. Looking to establish a more long-term and sustainable platform for saving food from landfill, UK-based Casserole is a community network that matches those with extra meals to spare with neighbors who might not be able to cook themselves.
Created by social innovation startup FutureGov, the site is based on the premise that those with families or housemates who cook together might sometimes find they have cooked too much. Instead of throwing away the extra food, members of Casserole can post any meals they have leftover onto the site’s ‘menu’, detailing what it is, when and where it was cooked and how many servings are available. Others who don’t have the time, abilities or inclination to cook can then take advantage of freshly cooked food near to them. Cooks can list their leftovers as a one-off occasion, or sign up to Casserole’s Pair Up project, whereby they agree to share meals with a neighbor on a regular basis. According to the organizers, all of those currently receiving cooked food through the Pair Up scheme are over the age of 80. The video below explains more about the project:
Casserole is currently only operating in the Reigate and Banstead area in Surrey but has already helped locals exchange over 60 meals. The project attempts to solve the problem of food waste and also helps people in the region to get to know neighbors they might not otherwise speak to. The elderly benefit from both a meal they may not have been able to cook as well as connection with their community. Could this kind of scheme work in your part of the world?