How It Works

How It Works

What is a food swap?

A food swap is a recurring event where members of a community share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other. Swaps allow direct trades to take place between attendees, e.g., a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles or a half-dozen backyard eggs. Swap events also include item sampling and/or a potluck as an immediate food-sharing component. These events are a delicious way to diversify the homemade foods in your own pantry while getting to know members of your local food community.

Details for each swap may be found on the Events page.

Who can participate?

We welcome everyone, as long as you bring something you made, grew, or foraged yourself! You must pre-register to attend. If you plan to bring a family member or friend, please register them, as well. And if you’re coming alone, don’t worry – most of us were strangers to begin with and meeting new friends is part of the fun!

Where is it held?

LA Food Swap is currently held in locations around Silver Lake/Echo Park/Atwater Village. We also encourage people to start swaps other parts of the city! Contact us if you’re interested in starting a swap in your neighborhood.

What do people bring?

All swap items must be homemade, homegrown, or foraged by you. Think pickles, preserves, baked goods, honey, granola, pasta, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices … you name it! Bring as little or as much as you like. You can bring a bunch of one thing or multiples of a few different things. The possibilities are endless!

Keep in mind that swappers will be examining and picking up your goods, so be sure to package them in a way that protects the food and makes it clear the amounts you want to swap. When applicable, it is recommended that you include storage and shelf life information.

If possible, you should also bring samples for others to try.

What happens during the swap?

Swaps usually last about two hours.

• The first 30 minutes of the swap are devoted to sign-in, set-up, and greetings. Swappers fill out name tags and swap sheets and set up their wares on the tables.

• The next 30 minutes to 1 hour are for everyone to walk around, examine, and sample items from the other swappers. Swappers will write their names and items they brought on the sheets for any items they would like to take home.

• The final 30 minutes are when all the swapping actually happens. Everyone goes back to his or her original sheets of paper, looks at the offers, finds interested offerers via their name tags, and swaps.

If it sounds intimidating, don’t worry! Our swappers are quite friendly and it’s all done in a spirit of fun.

The Honor Code

This is a community event; however, participants must pre-register, which means this event is operated as a private club.

In addition, all swap participants adhere to an honor code of using the highest cleanliness standards in their own kitchens and gardens to prepare their swap items. Swap participants must agree to the following terms before registering:

• By participating in this event, you are acknowledging that the food items being shared are not necessarily prepared in commercial kitchens or spaces inspected by any government agency.

• By participating in this event, you are also acknowledging that you will use the highest standards of safety and cleanliness in food preparation.

• By participating in this event, you assume all liability; specifically, you agree to not hold liable food swap hosts, swap venue owners/providers, or other swap participants.

© 2011-2019 LA Food Swap.