07 Aug OLIO Stories: Natalie from Jersey
People need to take away the stigma that OLIO is for the poor and see it for what it is - reducing food waste
Welcome to OLIO Stories, a series where we get to know people who share food on the app!
Meet Natalie from Jersey! She is one of the island’s most dedicated Food Waste Heroes, regularly saving HUGE hauls of food from her local supermarket with her three young sons. ‘Start em’ young’ as they say!
Hi Natalie! How long have you been using OLIO and how did you find out about it?
I’ve been using it for just over a year now and my story is quite funny! Me and my sister were visiting our local food store, and I said her while I quickly ran in, “will you just pop this rubbish into the bin please?”. When I came back from dashing in, she said, “you have to see this – they’ve binned sandwiches and all sorts!”. We were so upset by this waste, we raised it on social media. That’s when Elis (OLIO Market Maker in Jersey) got in touch to say she is growing the app on the island, and so my food saving journey began.
What made you give OLIO a try after finding out about it?
After my initial communications with Elis, she explained she was looking for some Food Waste Heroes to join her team, collecting from our local Tesco Alliance store which she had just signed up. I did my first pick-up, absolutely loved it, so continued doing it till this day.
That sounds amazing! So how would you describe your first experience as a part of the OLIO family?
It was a fantastic feeling! I went with Elis and it was the perfect first pick-up! There was a lovely mix of food and the people who came to collect really appreciated it. Getting to know my neighbours this way was also a real motivator.
Is your family involved in fighting food waste as well?
I’m a mum of 3 very active young boys, so I involve them in my pick-ups and they love it. They help me unpack and photograph the food, as well as helping me bag items ready for collection.
That’s heartwarming! How does it feel to save and share things that would be otherwise wasted?
Absolutely amazing! Some items we receive are well within their dates, so to think they were destined for the bin is heartbreaking. Potatoes, if kept in a cool dark place, can last weeks past their best before.
What are the other benefits to using OLIO other than reducing food waste?
There are so many benefits! Living in Jersey, things are expensive and wages can be stretched. OLIO helps families eat healthier and access high quality food they might not be able to afford.
Is there anything that surprised you about OLIO?
OLIO has been such an eye-opener! To think that for so long, so much has been binned by supermarkets is a travesty. Some days we are picking up 3 trolleys worth of food, so to think that was previously wasted before we were on the scene, makes you think.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Natalie! Lastly, if someone has downloaded OLIO but hasn’t used it yet, what would you say to encourage them to use it?
Please, please use OLIO! People need to shake off the stigma that OLIO is only for the poor and vulnerable. OLIO is for everyone, and it brings people from all walks of life together, to achieve the app’s main goal – to reduce food waste and build food sharing communities!