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  • Greta Frusha

    I love the idea of being able to 'eat authentic'. So many times a person gets shoved into the tourist stops that serve a watered down version of local cuisine. I am really into Ample Harvest! There a gardeners (like me) that after putting up all that our families can stand of our gardens, we tend to overload the people we know. It would be better to give to people that are in need of fresh food. Will be looking at this site in depth!

  • DonieceS

    Love this idea. One of my best friends is leading an amazing effort in San Francisco called QuesadaGardens.org. Whoo hoo!

  • Laura Clevenger

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I definitely want to try EatWith.com. I attended an in-house dinner while living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and it was one of the most unique, exciting eating experiences I've had. Can't wait to try one here in Brooklyn!

  • Josh Treuhaft

    Great Article, Lara. Thanks for sharing.

    I recently came across a nice company doing similar things based out of Brussels. They're called Bookalokal -- http://bookalokal.com/

    Worth checking out.

  • Rosalind Chu

    This is great! So excited to learn about these organizations/initiatives...I am definitely going to recommend these to my friends. Thank you for sharing!

  • Zak Solomon

    Very awesome concept. We are all each other's neighbors in this crowded world and, as the founders know, a great way to get to know one another is to eat together.

  • David Zimmerman

    This is awesome, reminds me of Tony Bourdain.

  • rick.passo

    Such awesome resources in this discussion. Such inspiring and empowering ideas and connections for collaborations! Thanks for this terrific article and conversation.

  • RedJulie

    I love this!! A great way to meet locals when traveling and feel part of a greater community.

  • Gary Oppenheimer

    AmpleHarvest.org (not "Ample Harvest") actually connects grower who have harvested too much food with a nearby food pantry... not the end recipient themselves. This is critical for the legal protection of the donor. By giving food to a non-profit, the donor is legally protected by federal Good Samaritan laws (http://www.gbfb.org/_pdf/help/GoodSamaritanFoodDonationAct.pdf) something not available if you simply give the food to an individual.

    Check out our national impact map at www.AmpleHarvest.org/map. More than 6,000 food pantries nationwide are eager for your help. Find one near you at www.AmpleHarvest.org.

  • Svetlana Zhukova

    Kitchen Party is another one - but here you don't need to pay. A dinner hosted by a local, with the purpose of simply sharing a meal and sharing culture: http://www.kitchenparty.org

  • Eliza Raymond

    Hello foodies! You might also be interested in Eat So They Can - a global dinner party on a mission to create a world free from hunger. www.eatsotheycan.org

  • Claire Suellentrop

    Wow. This completely made my day. What amazing ways to make a direct positive impact and get in closer touch with the community!

  • This Bar Saves Lives

    This is so cool! Checking out EatWith now. Thanks for sharing, Lara.

  • Shah Khan

    Check out www.feedingforward.org. It was launched a few months ago in the Bay Area. Feeding Forward uses the power of technology to help people fight hunger and food waste. It's currently Bay Area-wide and its food recovery model has been able to actually feed over 250,000 people.

  • Suri FringeonTop

    Fasicinating article - I run a local food recovery program called FoodSync (www.foodsync.org) that rescues restaurant leftovers and delivers them to organizations and shelters in need, and its always awesome to learn about other food-sharing and waste-reducing programs!

  • Stephanie Speights

    I signed up to be a guest. Hopefully, something will show up in New Zealand by November.

  • lynne.h.koss

    What a great idea - another way to connect and make the world a friendlier place! Food and music - common elements!

  • Hillary Newman

    Leaving for Tel Aviv on Sunday. So excited to check out EatWith. I'll let you know how it goes!

  • Liz Dwyer

    I love the idea of these swaps, but as someone who was once hospitalized for a week due to food poisoning, I'm wondering how do some of these swaps get around liability issues due to allergies or spoiled food? Do they have some sort of *if you sign up to swap you waive all rights to sue if you get food poisoning and die* clause?

    • Gary Oppenheimer

      That is the reason why extra food (ideally freshly harvested rather than prepared) should go to a local non-profit such as a food pantry. Federal law protects you from being legal action if someone gets sick due to something beyond your control. Find one near you at www.AmpleHarvest.org.

    • Shah Khan

      Leftover Swap will not protect donors from liability. For any donor to donate they have to donate food to a 501c3 or charity agency. Plus from what I saw they've just been doin a lot of crazy publicity -- but don't really have a functional model to show for it.

      • Dan Newman

        We're working this question out ourselves. AirBNB and Uber aren't necessarily legal, yet are able to utilize their users and popularity to help change the policy around their services. We'll see where we land, and are working as hard as a two-person team can to get something out there to catch up with the press!

    • Cara Kitagawa-Sellers

      I was wondering about all of these sites from a safety angle as anything crowd sourced and unregulated has risks. As it turns out, EatWith caries $1,000,000 liability insurance in case something goes horribly awry. Not sure about LeftoverSwap.

      • Dan Newman

        We're waiting for our own million-dollar insurance policy to be finalized!

    • Lara Rabinovitch

      From what I understand they are working with lawyers in the various countries/states about health protocols and other legal issues. But how different would this experience be from eating at a friend's (or a friend of a friend's) house?

  • Chelsea Spann

    This is so fascinating! Where else can we apply the shared economy? And what better a way then to share and even better bond over food? I'm curious to see what other opportunities can exist if we begin to insert this idea of abundance and sharing of resources into our culture/DNA. Awesome article.

    • Ryan MacInnes

      This is definitely one of those ideas I wish I had thought of. What indeed can we apply it to.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I have a friend who started something similar. She's met really interesting people from all walks of life by forming Supper Surfing. It's really enriched her life, and exposed her to understanding how she could help her community: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/27/local/la-me-supper-surfing-20120427. This reminds me a little of the Kibbutz system. What I like about food sharing is that there is a possibility to end waste too.

    • Lara Rabinovitch

      Supper Surfing sounds awesome! And yes, I don't think it's a coincidence that this startup comes out of Israel.

  • Grant Garrison

    This excites me most because 1) I obviously want to attend and EatWith dinner and anything that brings people together is good for the world, as we need as much social capital as possible on and offline to be happy and healthy individually and as a society; 2) The latter examples are applying the idea that changing cultural norms around serious issues (like hunger) should be fun and don't only require new money or resources but also new infrastructure made possible by the web. Hurray for humanity!

  • Chris Marshall

    I like the idea of EatWith but would love to see some sponsorship with local businesses - ie brought to you by Trader Joes or Whole Foods. It would certainly be a balance but then the money raised for attending could be circulated back into the community / Food kitchens / eradication of food deserts etc.

    • Lara Rabinovitch

      Yes - it would be interesting to see how food sharing startups can share with each other!

  • Mindy Nguyen

    I always joke about how we have an "app" for everything these days, but I am so glad to see how there are great minds like Michin who are using this technology to come up with solutions to issues we encounter every day. I'm such a big fan of EatWith because what's a better way of learning about different cultures than through food and the people who cook it?!

    • Lara Rabinovitch

      I couldn't agree more Mindy. Food is a window into culture - a delicious window!

  • Laura Goldberg

    This is a fantastic idea that really highlights the community and educational benefits of the hotting thing in tech right now - the sharing economy.

    • Ben Goldhirsh

      Love this indeed. Given the scale of the AirBnB business, and given the scale of the markets that these startups are entering, I'd be interested to see the how big these businesses get. Pretty exciting given the social capital they create along with new job opportunities (turning anyone into a restauranteur) and hopefully the great food.