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Please visit the Food Swap Network website, launched November 2011. This listing of swaps around the country (and world!) will eventually be represented only on Food Swap Network’s site, as existing and new hosts continue to upload, update and add their swaps!

Hosting a food swap is a fun and easy way to trade goods you make with others. Photos courtesy of Jo Ann SantangeloHow to host a food swap:

1. Make (or gather) stuff that’s edible and swappable, i.e. a loaf of bread, a jar of preserves, a half-dozen eggs from your backyard chickens, portions of soup, packages of homemade candy, etc.

2. Find a friend or two that can share the planning and hosting duties. It’s about the same amount of work as hosting a potluck every month or two (and in other location cases you won’t even need to clean your house).

My friend Meg and I formed a team; we called ourselves BK Swappers. Create a Facebook page, and if you’re a Tweet’er, use a unique Twitter hashtag (#yourfoodswap’suniquename) so attendees can connect before and after your events.

Set up your rules as you wish. We decided to keep things simple and only stick with food items that YOU made (not the farmers market jam mistresses, not the local artisan baker, etc.)

3. Invite your pals over (ones you know and maybe haven’t had the pleasure of meeting in real life, yet.) and have a big, long table ready for their swap goods.

4. Arrange for attendees to bring a homemade potluck item so there will be non-swap snacks, and you’re not put out to feed and entertain 20 people. Food people like to bring food to events, trust me. Everyone wants to show off something they took the time to prepare. Adding a potluck feature also opens the event to people who maybe don’t have a swap item, but would like to join in the food fun with a group of like-minded friends.

5. Nametags are a handy, if not essential, way for people to find the people who wrote on their swap sheets.  To help swaps happen, we created this document, which you’re welcome to download and use at your swap. 

Our categories include: What (is the item to be swapped), Who (is the swapper), and Offers listed by Name/Item (Who to talk to and what will be offered in exchange). We leave room for 10 offers, hot items can continue receiving offers on the back of the card.

Here are a couple other swap documents to choose from courtesy of East Bay CA Food Swaps and MPLSswappers (link coming soon!).

Let your swappers know that writing your name on something does not mean you will get it. Actual swapping takes place via discussing exchanges. The names on your item’s card are good places to start when you begin chatting and swapping since the people listed already want your item. (My swap strategy involves scouting out what I’m most interested in taking home, regardless of whether the items’ owners wrote their names on my sheet!)Display tags for items help guests make the swap.6. Designate a time when the swap will take place within the context of the party. Our parties last for about 2 hours, and the swap usually happens at the start of the 2nd hour. This gives guests time to assess the table and make their top picks before being thrown into the pit of chatty swappers vying for delicious goods.

Still have questions? Check out Meg’s post here and Emily’s post here for more helpful, swap-hosting information. This article on CHOW helps to answer some of the commonly asked swap etiquette questions.

Food Swaps popping up around the US

California

East Bay CA Food Swaps: East Bay CA

LAX Swappers: Los Angeles CA

Pasadena Food Swap: Pasadena CA

San Diego Food Swap: San Diego CA

San Fernando Valley Food Swap: San Fernando Valley area CA

SF Swappers: San Francisco CA

Santa Monica Food Swap: Santa Monica CA

Vallejo Food Swap: Vallejo CA

Ventura County Swappers: Ventura county CA

Colorado

Pike’s Peak Community Cupboard: Colorado Springs CO

Mile High Swappers: Denver/Boulder/Ft. Collins CO

Manitou Springs’ Community Swap: Manitou Springs CO

Connecticut

Coventry Regional Farmer’s Market Swaps: Coventry CT

Florida

SFL Food Swap: Fort Lauderdale FL

Tampa Food Swap: Tampa FL

Hawaii

Honolulu Food Swap —Links and contact info coming soon!

Illinois

Windy City Food Swappers: Chicago IL (more info to come!)

Trenton Food Swap Market: Trenton IL (east of St. Louis, MO)

Indiana

Indy Food Swappers: Indianapolis IN

Kentucky

Derby City Food Swap: Louisville KY

Louisiana

Nola Food Swap: New Orleans LA

Massachusetts

BOS Swappers: Boston MA

Northampton Food Swap: Northampton MA

Michigan

G-Rap Swappers: Grand Rapids MI

Real Good Food: Ann Arbor MI (a food-sharing collective that hosts swap events)

Lakes Area Swappers: Lakes Area MI

Royal Oak Food Swap: Royal Oak MI

Minnesota

MPLS swappers: Minneapolis MN

Missouri

St. Louis Food Swap: St. Louis MO

New York

BK Swappers: Brooklyn NY

Queens Swap: Queens NY

FSC (From Scratch Club) Swappers: Capital region including Albany, Saratoga Springs, Troy NY

CNY Harvest Swap: Utica NY

Westmoreland Food Swap: Westmoreland (between Utica & Rome) NY

North Carolina

Charlotte Food Swap (info to come!): Charlotte NC

Ohio

Cbus Food Swap: Columbus OH

Oregon

PDX Swappers: Portland OR

  • MEDIA: Video from Cooking Up A Story
  • MEDIA: Huffington Post article, January 20, 2011

Pennsylvania

Philly Swappers: Philadelphia PA

Texas

ATXswappers: Austin TX

BAHSwappers: Houston and Bay Area TX

Dallas Taste the Honey Food Swappers: Dallas TX

North Ft Worth Food Swap: Fort Worth TX

Fritztown Swappers: Fredericksburg TX

Washington

Bellingham Food Swap: Bellingham WA

Oly Food Swap: Olympia WA

Seattle Edible Exchange: Seattle WA

Wisconsin

Madison Food Swap—Links to come, visit their Facebook save-the-date event page for the June 12, 2011 swap.

UK

London

London Swappers: UK (yes, that’s right, Eng-a-land…said like Roger Miller)

Canada

Ontario

Swappers in the ‘Burg: Amherstburg Ontario

GO Food Swap: Guelph Ontario

Windsor Swappers: Windsor Ontario

Are you planning to start one in your city? Feel free to email me with questions, your info to be added to this listing or just to let me know how it goes!

Also, email me if you’re a swap host and would like to join our Facebook support group (it’s a closed group so you’ll need one of us to invite you).