A WOMAN from York says that a new free community food sharing app is helping her save money, make friends, and reduce food waste.

39-year-old Tiphaine Berger, from Rawcliffe, has been using the app, which allows people to put their spare food and location online so that people nearby can come and swap food or make use of food which people would normally throw away.

“I’ve met so many people through the app, I know all my neighbours now," said Tiphaine, who volunteers to collect food waste from Pret a Manger and distribute it.

"We also exchange other non-food items, gardening tips, and home-grown vegetables. My food waste has reduced dramatically so I really feel like I’m making a difference to the environment plus food is expensive now, so it is good to share.”

The Olio app is free and is joining up neighbours all over the UK who are sharing food, getting to know their local community, and wasting less food.

Olio has announced ambitious plans to work with FareShare to save and redistribute 200 million meals over the next year - with support from major UK businesses including Tesco, One Stop, Planet Organic and many more.

Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of Olio, said: “It’s simply wrong that right now millions of people across the UK are struggling to put food on the table, whilst billions of meals worth of perfectly edible food is going straight in the bin.

“There’s more than enough food in this country to feed everybody, and that’s why we decided to take action. We’re so grateful to those organisations that have already pledged their support and we’re calling for others to do the same as a matter of urgency.”

Participating businesses provide their surplus food to Olio which will be collected regularly by Olio’s network of more than 50,000 volunteer Food Waste Heroes.

The Food Waste Heroes will then list the food on the Olio app, making it available to their local community to come and collect and enjoy for free.

Fareshare takes delivery of surplus good-to-eat food, which is unsold or unwanted by the food industry, sorts it in one of its 31 regional warehouses, and passes it onto a network of nearly 10,000 charities and charity groups across the UK.

The partnership plans to redistribute 200 million meals with the support of Fareshare and its wider network of food retailers in the next year.

Neil Thomas, head of transformation at One Stop said: “At One Stop we are proud to be part of this movement to help put food in the hands of those who need it and save it from being needlessly thrown away.

“We’ve been working with Olio and Fareshare for the past few months and as a convenience store retailer with over 900 community stores, we know only too well how much people are struggling and the immediate benefits these initiatives create. Sadly, for too many they are serving as a lifeline during difficult times, showing why raising these record numbers has become so critical.”