How to collect food and get started as a Food Waste Hero

What is a Food Waste Hero and how do I get involved?

Food Waste Heroes are OLIOers who pick up unsold surplus food from businesses to save it from going to waste. Learn more on our ‘Become a Food Waste Hero’ page.

Where can I find my Food Waste Hero ID?

You can find your Food Waste Hero ID under ' My Collection Slot' on the Volunteer Hub, or directly by clicking HERE.

Tip: bookmark the page so you can find it again quickly!

How often can I collect food as a Food Waste Hero?

First of all, we're so happy to see so many Food Waste Heroes all around the world collecting and distributing surplus food in their local communities! Globally there are over 25,000 Food Waste Heroes and many of them are collecting regularly, that is once or twice per week, or irregularly, that is whenever it suits them and there's availability. 

Any Food Waste Hero may have up to 2 ongoing collection slots. Squad Captains may have 1 additional ongoing collection slot, making the total ongoing slot count 3. If your collections are currently 'on pause' e.g. there is a temporary break in collections due to store refurbishment or closure, this still counts towards your collection limit.

How much food can I expect to collect?

In short, it depends! Food Waste Heroes collect any and all unsold surplus food, so this is completely down to what the business has available. Having a car is not a requirement to be a Food Waste Hero, so we anticipate you will be able to collect comfortably by foot/other modes of transport from the vast majority of businesses. 

Some businesses will frequently have larger volumes of food surplus so collecting by car may be easier. Please do check in your Squad's group chat to confirm if this is the case, and ensure you have sufficient space and time to safely store and redistribute the food after collection.

Why are no collection slots available near me?

All collection slots currently available near you can be viewed on the collection slots page on the Volunteer Hub.

Please note that collection slots are only visible to users living within a certain distance of the pick-up location for food safety reasons. 

If there are no collection slots showing as available near you, then it's either because there are no participating locations nearby, or they have all been claimed by other Food Waste Heroes already.

This gives you the opportunity to sign up a new place to OLIO as a Squad Starter! We are relying on our community to help thousands of local businesses save food from going to waste. Sign up to our Squad Starter badge to learn more about this role and how you can sign up a new place to OLIO.

NB you cannot send your partner, friend or flatmate to collect the food from the business, unless they've completed all required Food Waste Hero training modules and have claimed your skipped/paused collection slot via the Volunteer Hub.

Do I need a photo of myself on my profile?

As a Food Waste Hero, you should have a clear picture of yourself as this will give requesters confidence and improve your chances of getting requests from other OLIOers

Can I share an account with my partner/ household?

Whilst we totally understand that it feels AMAZING to share the love 💚 unfortunately joint accounts are not allowed on OLIO. This is important for OLIO’s safe sharing network, as it ensures each volunteer has completed training and that all OLIOers know exactly who they are sharing with.

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