As around 16 million of us were plunged into a very strict Tier 4 on Sunday, just five days before Christmas, all plans for thoughtfully-planned festive gatherings were thrown by the wayside. If, like loads of others, you had already placed your food order, and stocked up on Christmas essentials, here’s what you can do with the excess…

It is the season of giving and the idea of helping others right now might in some way take the edge of your own disappointments. The food you ordered for your table of twelve needn’t go to waste. If it’s too late to cancel your deliveries, the best thing to do is share with those in need.

Melissa Hemsley, the self-taught chef, foodie,  cheerleader for sustainability and media personality is already an advocate of ‘Zero Waste’ and being frugal and thrifty in a positive way. And yesterday she shared an Instagram post encouraging us all to do the same this festive season.

Hemsley’s post highlights the free app which will help you to easily share any excess or unwanted food in your area.

So how does it work? OLIO is an app which connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.

Whether you’re a local business and you have products nearing their sell-by date, you happen to have spare home-grown vegetables, or you’ve simply ordered for family members no longer able to make it, you can now safely share it with anyone who is without. And if you’re without, you can search the app for whatever you need.

You simply add a photo, description, plus when and where the item is available for pick-up – and all this can be arranged via private messaging.

With up to a third of the food we produce globally being thrown away, and the average U.K family wasting approximately £700 worth of food each year., we should all be doing our bit.

And figures aside, helping others is scientifically-proven to make your feel better.



Co-Founded by Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, the pair have a shared vision to help create a world in which nothing of value goes to waste, and every single person has enough to eat.

Tessa grew up on her parents’ dairy farm in North Yorkshire, and credits her upbringing for teaching her, pretty much as soon as she could walk, just how much hard work goes into producing the food that we all eat. And Sasha, the daughter of Iowa hippy entrepreneurs (hence the origin of her last name, Celestial-One) grew up in a large, relatively poor family. Earning pocket money through salvaging and reselling items, she quickly learnt hat one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Despite launching in 2015, this year, the app has come into its own, as people throughout communities and across the country have pulled together in the face of Covid-19.

Find out more, here.

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