UK-based social innovation company FutureGov has launched Casserole, a community network that allows home cooks in Surrey, England, to share leftover meals with neighbours who struggle to cook for themselves.
Instead of throwing away extra food, members of Casserole can post leftover meals on the site, describing what the dish is and how many servings are available. Nearby residents can then request the food through the website or by phone or text. Cooks can list leftovers as a one-off occasion, or sign up to share meals on a regular basis.
The scheme is currently only operating in the Reigate and Banstead area, but there are plans to introduce it in other areas of the UK. The scheme tackles the problem of food waste while promoting community integration, particularly for elderly people. Currently, all of the ‘diners’ are over the age of 80. However the service is open to anyone.
With a recent report by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers revealing that up to half the world’s food is thrown away, organisations that address the problem of food waste are likely to become increasingly prevalent (see Global Food & Health Trends 2013-14). Similar schemes, like Super Marmite in Paris and Lantmannen in Sweden – which turns food sharing into a dating opportunity – have also been launched.