How many people should I have at my swap?

We recommend limiting the group’s size to about 40. Some swaps stay at around 10-15 attendees, and that’s just fine. Any less than that and you all will probably end up with an even array of everyone’s goods, which is still fun.

Where should I hold my swap?

You might hold a swap at your house, a local business, a park, or anywhere that will offer a private space and big tables (or ample counter space). Places to consider include nonprofit organizations, food banks, community centers, faith communities, parks, farmers markets, schools, CSA farms, community gardens, and private businesses.

How do I publicize my swap?

Start out by creating a Facebook page, and if you’re an Instagrammer or Tweeter, either make a @yourfoodswap handle or use a unique hashtag (#yourfoodswapsuniquename) so attendees can connect before and after your events. You might also reach out to local food blogs, publications, and DIY or locavore organizations and ask them for help spreading the word.

Should I charge people to attend?

Although it doesn’t take a ton of money to hold a swap, there are some costs here and there. Rather than charging an entry fee, you might ask for donations in the form of cash or needed items like name tags, pens, utensils, etc. People are usually happy to chip in!

What about legal issues?

While swaps are community events, participants must pre-register, which means swap events are operated as private clubs. Consult your local department of health and food code rules for operating this type of group.

For more tips, download the DIY Food Swap Toolkit from our Resources page.