Food sharing app asks Muslims to get involved during Ramadan

Sharing food during Ramadan could help struggling communities amid inflation

British Muslims have a further opportunity to be social good agents during Ramadan by using an app to share their surplus food as the cost of living bites and households contribute to severe food waste.

UK NGO Human Appeal and OLIO, a food sharing app, are partnering to highlight concerns over food waste during Ramadan and are calling on British Muslims celebrating the month to share their uneaten food.

Stopping food waste via technology

Through OLIO’s free app, those celebrating Ramadan can use OLIO to make these items available by uploading an image and description listed locally and then collected.

Via this technology, UK Muslims can engage in the charitable spirit of Ramadan while encouraging sustainable environmental practices and even social uplift by helping those struggling to feed their families as the cost of living soars.

The extent of food wastage in the UK generally is seen in the Waste & Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) data, which shows British households contribute to 70% of food waste, equating to 6.6 million tonnes of food wasted, 4.5 million tonnes are edible.

The research released by Human Appeal and supported by OLIO found that over three quarters (77%) of UK Muslims are concerned about wasted food during Ramadan, when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. According to the research, over half (54%) have thrown away food during Ramadan in previous years.

A desire for sustainability in the community

However, the research suggests a growing sentiment toward celebrating Ramadan in a sustainable fashion. In fact, 88% of British Muslims say wasting food doesn’t reflect the true spirit of Ramadan, while 87% believe people need to take more responsibility to stop it during the period.

Furthermore, 93% of UK Muslims have previously shared surplus food with neighbours during Ramadan, and 96% are willing to share surplus food this year.

The drive to prevent food wastage during this year’s Ramadan celebration carries greater significance as the cost of living spirals in the UK. The research reflects this, with 61% planning to spend less on food this Ramadan.

Abid Shah, UK Programmes Manager at Human Appeal, said: “We are encouraged by the willingness of the UK Muslim community to share food, especially when we recall each night this Ramadan that 10% of the world will go to bed hungry, in addition to the economic pressures within the UK increasing. Food sharing services such as OLIO make it easy and quick for those looking to share surplus food with others in their local community. I’m grateful for OLIO’s support in raising awareness around food sharing during Ramadan.”

Tessa Clarke, Co-founder at OLIO, added: “At a time when we’re facing a cost of living crisis and the climate crisis, it’s more important than ever to recognise that lots of small actions can collectively lead to really big change. That’s why we’re incredibly proud to be supporting Human Appeal’s research into Ramadan and food waste in the UK and are heartened to hear that at such an important time in the Muslim calendar, the community is open to sharing their spare with their neighbours.”

To find out more about OLIO and download the app, click here.

In this article, you learned that:

  • New research shows that 77% of UK Muslims are concerned about wasted food during Ramadan.
  • There is a desire for food sustainability in the community during Ramadan; 93% of UK Muslims have previously shared surplus food during Ramadan, and 96% are willing to this year.
  • Sharing surplus food supports Ramadan’s message of charity and is good for society as the cost of living soars.
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