Prague online community devoted to food sharing wants to stop the waste and spread the love

The popularity of food sharing networks in the Czech Republic is on the rise; here's how you can participate.

Marcus Bradshaw

Written by Marcus Bradshaw
Published on 27.01.2021 15:12 (updated on 29.01.2021)

“Welcome” and “Stop wasting food!” are the two phrases that greet visitors to the Sdílení jídla Praha / Food Sharing Prague Facebook page. The community group, which has been operating for over three years, provides a platform for people to share food, for free, with other Prague residents. It’s a practical resource that’s especially useful for people who are moving flat or those who are giving their pantry a good spring clean.

The project had a somewhat unlikely beginning at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, where group founder, Barbora Hladíková, was working at the time. At the end of the festival, she was ordered to throw away a large amount of surplus food. Reluctant to bin good food that was still edible, Barbora took it home and advertised it on Facebook through the Food Sharing Edinburgh Public Group

The reaction was swift, and soon people were collecting from her flat. “It was great to see smiles on their faces and feel that we might have helped someone” says Barbora. Impressed by the efficacy of the group, she decided to establish a similar group in Prague.

Over three years later, Barbora is still closely involved with the project. She interacts with the page almost daily, accepting requests and managing the page. During this time, she says that she has never had a bad experience. “It has always been a pleasure to share food with someone or to be the one who gets the food,” she says, “I have gotten to meet some very nice people.”

Food items are clearly photographed before being listed on the site.
Food items are clearly photographed before being listed on the site.

The group is easy to use. New users simply create a request, and once accepted, they can start sharing. 

“Anyone who has extra food that they will not use, for example, students, people moving house, sorting out their pantry, or working somewhere where they have access to leftovers, they all can share food in the group. You just post a picture of the goods you wish to share, and where to pick it up. All of the food is shared for free.”

Once the food has been successfully shared, the post is deleted, which reduces clutter on the page. 

In this simple way, Barbora is doing her part to help reduce the colossal amount of edible and safe food that is thrown away on a daily basis. For those who would like to learn more about the incredible amount of food that is simply disposed of every day, Barbora recommends Just Eat it, a 2014 documentary about food waste and dumpster diving.

She occasionally engages in a spot of dumpster diving herself, where she is repeatedly amazed to find large quantities of food, still within its ‘best before’ date, simply discarded. 

These boxes of eggs were found when dumpster diving
These boxes of eggs were found when dumpster diving

“Once I came across loads of egg cartons filled with undamaged eggs that were about to expire in three days. I took as much as I could and then shared it within the group. Naturally, I mentioned they were from a dumpster, in case someone would mind.”

The Sdílení jídlo Praha / Food Sharing Prague Facebook page is not alone in trying to address the problem of wasted food in the capital city. There is also an app called Nesnězeno (translating as ‘not eaten’) that helps restaurants, cafes and bakeries reduce their food waste, by allowing people to purchase their leftover portions at a reduced price. The app is similar to the international app Too Good To Go, which is not currently available in Prague.

Swapping, sharing, and trading have seen a rise during lockdown with a number of groups and apps gaining popularity. My Cook Around lets locals cook and share food with another (think homemade lasagne or preserves) for a small cost while the Swaparound platform encourages people to swap household stuff. Freegan/Dumpster diving is a Prague Facebook group devoted to repurposing culinary cast-offs.