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Olio offers Christmas food

Olio offers Christmas food

Friday 24 December 2021

Olio offers Christmas food

Friday 24 December 2021

Surplus food donated by supermarkets across Guernsey is available for free today in a 'pop-up' store organised by Olio.

The popular food-sharing app sees volunteers collect food which is nearing sell by or best before dates and distribute it in the community rather than it being thrown away.

Volunteers expect to be able to distribute a wide range of food today, including vegetables, dairy products and desserts. 

Kim Marquis, an Olio volunteer, said that she and other 'Olio Elves' will be collecting surplus food from supermarkets across the island during the day before setting up their pop-up store at the St John Ambulance Training Hall in the Rohais.

They will be there for one hour this evening - between 18:00 and 19:00. Anyone can pop in and pick up the items on offer. All items will be distributed for free and anything not claimed within the hour will be available for collection from volunteers' homes later on. 

Mrs Marquis said: "Fill your fridges, freezers and tummies for free."


Pictured: The Olio app launched in Jersey before expanding to Guernsey and elsewhere.

Olio started in Guernsey in 2018 after successfully operating in Jersey first. Its creator, Elis Joudalova, recruits volunteers and food shops who then work together to reduce the amount of food going to waste in the islands. 

"The ethos of Olio is to help reduce food waste on the island and is therefore there for everyone," said Mrs Marquis. 

"We are supported by some amazing supermarkets who donate their surplus use by and best before food for our volunteers to collect and distribute to the public via the Olio app."

The Olio team have a few rules they must follow, including that any food with a use by date must be collected from a volunteer by midnight on that date. Items with a best before date can be collected for as long as they are fit to eat.


Pictured: Olio enables users to collect food that has not been sold by supermarkets. 

"We never know exactly what is going to be available," said Mrs Marquis.

"We have distributed everything from a loaf of bread to fillet steak. We have nights where we collect crates of food and others where it’s a few pre-made sandwiches.

"Olio-ers have reported making complete meals from items collected. I’ve done this myself: collected food from various volunteers, frozen some items and cooked a meal for six people - all completely for free."

Mrs Marquis said there may be staple items and a few festive season treats available at the Olio pop-up store this evening - and there may also be items which can saved for future use

"People are becoming more aware of what can be frozen - pre-made sandwiches for instance. 

"Olio has been incredibly successful, but we would really like to see more people using the app or the web browser - help our volunteers cut food waste while getting yourself some free food."


Pictured: The Olio website and app encourage people to reduce food waste.

Mrs Marquis said Olio needs additional volunteers to help collect surplus food from supermarkets and redistribute it in the community.

There is more information on the Olio website.

Pictured top: Food collected by Olio will be distributed from the St John Ambulance Training Hall between 18:00 and 19:00 this evening, Christmas Eve.

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