A guide to Snaxchange
a complete guide to how to use Snaxchange
Snaxchange operates on a very simple principle – what is the easiest way to get food that is available to those that need it. The reason food is available does not really matter. It is not a question that people ask who gratefully receive it so neither do we.
All you have to do is let us know what food you have available and where it is, and we will do the rest. Sure, it may take a little time to provide a few details and we appreciate you taking the time to do so. But every person donating food is directly helping those that most need it.
You will be able to see this because once you have provided the details someone representing those that need your food will contact you. It won’t just be anybody – it will be someone within the Snaxchange community. A volunteer from a foodbank, a transport volunteer or someone from one of the many organisations working together to reduce food wastage and provide food to those that need it. They will discuss how best to collect or deliver the food and where to. If you can help if they are local, then that would really help. But no problem if not, someone will arrange a collection time and date that works for you.
By the way, if you wanted to join the Snaxchange community, you would be very welcome. All you have to do is register when you donate. You may also be considering becoming a volunteer. If you would like to do so then please let us know, we always need and appreciate additional help
To encourage people or organisations to donate food it needs to be easy to do so. The steps involved need to be quick and simple and where and who the food will go to and why needs complete transparency. So, this is why at Snaxchange we do things a little differently. And this is possible because we are using our experience of digital businesses and technology to do so.
However, we are asking you to also do things a little differently. We would love for you to donate some food. The process is fairly easy:
If you select ‘Your food’ You will be provided with an option to ‘Upload food’. Once you have selected upload food you will be presented with a form to fill in to capture the information required about the food you would like to donate. The form includes helpful drop down category options, a description and the quantity of food.
You will see some different options. When donating the food, you will be asked whether you would like to receive a financial contribution for each of the items. At Snaxchange we recognise that food retains a monetary value even if the food is no longer needed. So please let us know.
We will also ask you whether you would be prepared to deliver the food. This is completely optional, would be at your convenience and delivery a short distance within your current location. If you agree, this option will be presented to those needing the food although you would still be able to explore how to Move the food when you are contacted.
Finally, to simplify the overall process and experience, once you have donated the food it will stay where it is until someone needs it. Moving to a central food store or distribution location will incur unnecessary costs and more importantly time if it then has to be moved a second time. Better to receive the food from you and then go directly to those that need it. This does mean that we ask you to hold onto the food and in the unlikely event that the food is not required or can no longer be used (safety), dispose the food.
All of the food within the Snaxchange community is available to everyone. This includes food donated through Snaxchange or food already stored in one of the many registered community organisations. Our food enables anyone to be able to search the Snaxchange community for food. This might be to find specific food items needed or to check more generally to see the food available in different locations and community organisations.
The way Snaxchange works is exactly the same as internet shopping. You can search for food items via food categories and select the food you need by adding the food to a food basket. Once you have everything you need, you proceed to checkout to place the order.
At this point you will be asked to register to join the Snaxchange community if you have not already done so. It may take a little time to provide a few details and we appreciate you taking the time to do so. This helps us grow our community to identify where help is needed and ensure food continues to go where it is needed most.
Once you have placed your order, the location of the food and contact details will be shared for you to arrange how best to collect or arrange delivery. The person or organisation sharing the food won’t just be anybody – it will be someone within the Snaxchange community. A volunteer from a foodbank, someone like yourself or someone from one of the many organisations working together to reduce food wastage and provide food to those that need it.
If you do need the food to be delivered to you then please see our Transport food options and help.
On some occasions you may be asked to make a financial contribution. Food items carrying a price will be highlighted when searching and made clear at the checkout, otherwise the order price total will appear as zero.
Running a food bank is a constant battle to ensure stocks of food and other essentials. Food and money donations fluctuate wildly and it's difficult to maintain steady stocks. By showing where food is available and being stored, we can start to tackle some of the wider day to day problems associated with food wastage and helping get food to those people that need it the most.
- Foodbank front line services are more visible to the community for donations, volunteering or for those needing help.
- Food can be distributed (shared) across geographic areas improving storage and management of stock levels.
- Locate food provides the ability to see what supply is available and where demand is access channels to food sources.
- Food sources, people and resources (help) can be mapped out visually to improve operations and volunteer management.
- Funding can be directed to the areas and organisations that need it the most.
All of this can be achieved by visualising the help and services available, improving communications and building stronger communities to address the scale of the problem with everyone working together.
A major challenge facing foodbanks and other organisations addressing the issues of food wastage and the providing food to those that need it the most is how to get the food to those that need it. This may be an individual or organisation making a donation or foodbank supporting other charitable organisations or people in the community who are unable to travel to a foodbank. Distribution of food costs money, valuable time can be lost impacting food availability (perishables) and volunteer levels naturally fluctuate around a core of dedicated people.
Snaxchange will leverage a community of transport volunteers who by working together will provide a set of transport options to ensure that the sharing and distribution of food does not become a barrier to getting food to those that need it. Transport options – bike, car, van, scooter or taxi – will be able to be requested based on time (when the food is needed), distance (how far the food has to travel) and volume of food (amount of food to be moved).
The Snaxchange model focused on building localised communities and developing improved communications will significantly reduce distances food has to travel and enable the food to be moved to where it needs to go as quickly as possible.
Initially, Snaxchange will offer two options:
Collect yourself – the person who places the order can arrange to collect the food.
Find a food transport volunteer – if you need help with the delivery of the food you can ask for help from a volunteer from the foodbank, person or organisation sharing the food. They will be able to discuss options with you and whether there may be a fee to cover transport costs.
You will also have an option to register as a transport volunteer yourself. If so let us know and we will put you in contact with foodbanks and organisations in your area in need of help.
Snaxchange intends to develop further options and the services available exploring ways to provide a comprehensive low-cost transport network.
Everybody seems to want to talk about food these days. The Snaxchange community is no different – we love talking about food! Our community conversations are a little different. People still enjoy comparing ideas for recipes but most of the conversations are about who has food available and where it is needed. Running a food bank is a constant battle to ensure stocks of food and other essentials, so we talk about this a lot.
Talk food helps people continue to do this using the same preferred approach currently used by foodbanks and communities – WhatsApp. WhatsApp via Snaxchange will enable you to build you own groups and communities and continue with existing ones. We know it is not ideal, and we know we need to do better but it's a start and something that most people know how to use. It is also available to use now.
Talk food going forward will based on advancements in social media and communications platforms to find new ways to build our community. Some of these will be familiar to you whilst other options may take a little more getting used to. But don’t worry – we will keep it as simple as possible!
In addition to addressing the issue of food wastage and getting food to those that need it, Snaxchange will build a community of people by connecting those people already helping and finding new volunteers who want to help. Most foodbanks and charitable organisations are operated by volunteers and their success is dependent on the continued support commitment of those individuals. More volunteers are always welcome. Snaxchange will help make these connections so more people can get involved.
The time that people willingly contribute is precious so we will also help improve how volunteers are used based on the time they are able to contact, skills and experience they offer and the roles they are able to perform.
If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact one of your local food banks or charitable organisations to register with them. These can be found using Locate food. They would love to hear from you and so would we! You will then become a formal volunteer within the Snaxchange community.
Longer term, Snaxchange recognises that these issues cannot be addressed by individual volunteers alone so we will be engaging the support of business and organisation to enable them to get involved and contribute their own resources and expertise. Transport, logistics, restaurants, supermarkets, media, design, technology and many more areas all have a contribution to make to be able to address the scale of the issues faced. And all are very welcome.