We are long finished with Thanksgiving, but there still may be some leftovers hiding in the fridge. But even beyond holiday feasts, we’re all used to the concept of leftovers and having extra food. Sometimes, we may not know what to do with all of that food if we don’t feel like eating it ourselves. Luckily, a Britain-founded mobile phone app called OLIO hopes to fix this problem while making the world a better place, one meal at a time.
Food waste is a major issue, and plenty of people are coming up with ideas to fix this. If you have some food you no longer want to eat, or you happen to cook too much for dinner, you can use OLIO to help. The app, created by two entrepreneurs, connects people with neighbors and with shops in their local areas so surplus foods can be shared, as opposed to being thrown away. OLIO can even be used for non-food household items as well, like furniture and clothes.
OLIO is quite simple to use. All you have to do is open up the app, add a photo of the food along with a description, and add when and where the item will be available for pick-up. If you’re looking for food on the app, you just need to browse the listings in your area, and make a request for whatever catches your interest. Then you can arrange for a pick-up via a private message. In addition to this, the app is totally free to use.
Tessa Cook, the company’s co-founder, grew up on a dairy farm in Yorkshire in northern England and witnessed first-hand how difficult it is to produce food. So when food was being wasted, she wanted to find someone to give it to, but was unable to. That’s when the idea sparked.
“I thought, ‘This is perfectly delicious food. I know there is someone within 100 meters who would love it. The problem is they don’t know about it,’” Cook said. She decided to partner up with Saasha Celestial-One, a former investment banker in America, to launch the OLIO app, and raised $2.2 million from investor funding.
More than 400,000 food items have been shared on the app so far, and there are hundreds of thousands of registered users.