What is a food swap?
(Image: Jo Ann Santangelo)

A food swap is a recurring event where members of a community share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other. Swaps allow direct trades to take place between attendees, e.g., a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles or a half-dozen backyard eggs. Swap events often include a potluck as an immediate food-sharing (and sometimes item-sampling) component. These events are a delicious way to diversify the homemade foods in your own pantry while getting to know members of your local food community.

Swaps usually last about two hours. This is the format of most of the swaps linked in this network:

• The first 30 minutes of the swap are devoted to sign-in, set-up, and greetings. Swappers fill out name tags and swap sheets and set up their wares on the tables.

• The next 30 minutes to 1 hour are for everyone to walk around, examine, and sample items from the other swappers. Swappers will write their names and items they brought on the sheets for any items they would like to take home.

• The final 30 minutes are when all the swapping actually happens. Everyone goes back to his or her original sheets of paper, looks at the offers, finds interested offerers via their name tags, and swaps.

Want to host a food swap? Click here

Want to to attend a food swap? Click here