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New WhatsApp group helps Harrow residents reduce food waste

A new initiative to help reduce food waste has been spearheaded by a campaign to get people to join specialised WhatsApp groups in Harrow and beyond as we head into the new year.

In 2022 we had no choice but to realize that we need to take care of our rare resources.
Good news: there are easy solutions that can help us consume responsibly while enjoying it! This is where ‘Food Next Door’ comes in.

Harrow Online had the opportunity to meet Camille Desprez, founder of Food Next Door, who’s helping neighbours reduce food waste by providing them with a dedicated space for food sharing.

She had the idea almost a year ago when one evening, she was making her special mojitos. For these, she needed a handful of mint leaves. Before going to the shop, she happened to check her partner’s fridge and saw that his flatmate had some (already opened) in the perfect quantity needed. She rescued it from waste as his flatmate didn’t want it anymore.

The idea emerged: “I can save food from waste if I get it from someone I know and trust. How easy would it be if I knew my neighbours well and if we could benefit from each other’s surplus in order to stop food waste together.”

This idea was validated after she saw that half of the world’s food waste was coming from households. It was obvious: we can easily reduce food waste if we have a dedicated space to share our extra food amongst our community of neighbours, on which we can count on and trust.

So she created a Food Next Door WhatsApp group for her building. She knocked at her neighbours and added them to the group. 99% of neighbours have joined the group and since then, food is being saved almost every week.

New WhatsApp group helps Harrow residents reduce food waste Harrow Online
Credit: Food Next Door

After seeing the success of this group, in April, she decided to go broader and wanted to help more neighbourhoods reduce food waste as well.

Since then, 27 neighbourhoods in London and Paris are part of their own Food Next Door community. That’s about 300 members that have saved 550+ food items and hundreds of home furniture.

Not only it helps neighbours easily stop food waste, but it also helps them build greater relationships based on trust.

Camille has been able to build those communities with the help of Ambassadors who are basically the Food Next Door Rep of their own neighbourhood. They help by adding their neighbours to their group –  allowing everyone to start sharing right away.

The project promises to be huge and later this year she will release an App, to move from WhatsApp groups to a dedicated application that neighbours will love.

She’s looking to get more ambassadors in Harrow so they can create their own Food Next Door community, and be 0-waste as well.

If you’re interested in being involved – email Camille at camille@foodnextdoor.net or if you want more info go to foodnextdoor.net

She promises that you’ll enjoy the ride.