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A food swap is a local event where people with common interests and extra homemade goods get together to trade. In our version of a swap, no money is changed hands between the participants – only goods.
In short you can bring just about anything that is homemade or homegrown.
If you need some inspiration, check out this short list of ideas:
Your first swap can seem a little overwhelming. But no one who bites is allowed in. Here are some tips to make your 1st or 10th swap a successful one.
1. What to bring: Bring as few or as many items as you want. You can bring many of the same item or shake it up and bring all sorts of different items. Remember to have a swap card for every type of item you bring. You can save time and fill these out at home. (Print these Swap Cards via the Food Swap Network) We will also have Swap Cards available at the event. Visit the What Can I Bring? page for info on what kinds of things people bring.
2. Packaging: Keep in mind that swappers will be examining and picking up your goods, so be sure to package them in a way that protects the food and makes clear the amounts you want to swap. We encourage reusable, earth-friendly packaging whenever possible. Don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of time decorating or composing fancy packaging unless you like to do it, that is.
3. Food Safety: This is a concern for everyone. Frankly you don’t know for sure how someone prepared or grew their items. But you can ask, and make a judgement call. If your item requires refrigeration, please have a plan to keep it cold for 2-3 hours during the swap in something like a cooler. You could have a picture on the table, set some samples out or direct people to peek into the cooler. Whatever works for you.
4. At the swap: Don’t get your feelings hurt if someone says no thanks to your swap item. Food is a very personal matter and a number of factors – like food allergies, personal preference, utility of the item in their kitchen – will influence someone’s decision to swap.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to say no to someone. You wouldn’t buy something at the grocery store you’re not going to eat, so swapping because you don’t want to hurt a fellow swapper’s feelings isn’t expected of you. Sure, you can always swap and give away the item, but only if you have extra items to work with, which will not be the case for everyone.
Thanks to The Food Swap Network for a lot of this info, and the inspiration to start this swap.