That’s the idea behind Casserole Club, a food sharing network in the U.K. that links up everyday cooks with people who can’t prepare food for themselves. “It’s a way for them to get a home-cooked meal, and to bond with their neighbors,” says Ben Mathews, at FutureGov, the company behind the project.
Cooks sign up, go through a quick background check, then find someone nearby to cook for. They call up the neighbor to discuss the meal (and any likes and dislikes), then agree on a delivery time and go round with the food.
Casserole launched last year as a pilot south of London, and has since expanded to two boroughs in the capital. Matthews says cooks have served 300 meals so far, and FutureGov is now looking to expand to other cities. More than 2,000 cooks have signed up from across the U.K.
“What we’re finding is that people who are cooking food like it because they can get to know their community a bit better,” he says. “We also find that people who are receiving aren’t passive. They get to build strong relationships, and share their experiences, as well.”
It may be early days. But it’s another example of how the sharing economy can potentially deliver more than just goods and services. It can act as a social glue as well.