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Who are we?

We, Marieke Hart and Jan Thij Bakker, founded Shareyourmeal in March 2012. We live in Utrecht West and are the parents of Kaatje and Evi. We are socially engaged entrepreneurs. We have a taste for good food and cooking and we believe in sharing! Because of the many warm responses, we are increasingly inspired by the power of sharing food. In addition to running Shareyourmeal, Jan Thij is employed by the internet company Quizworks, specialized in online quizzing ( Marieke is a senior trainer/advisor global citizenship at NCDO. She occupies herself by encouraging engagement for a better world.

Our story 

While seated in our garden, we could often smell when our neighbour was cooking. We were intrigued by the smells coming for her kitchen. We were curious about her cookery and her. When we took the bold step of asking her if we could try her food one day, she immediately got excited. That same weekend we walked over to her place with a few euros and returned with three delicious servings of pumpkin soup. This is when we realized that sharing food is a great way to get to know your neighbours. Other neighbours also started to participate. Everyone was really enthusiastic. We decided to take a leap of faith and to build an on-line platform which allows everyone in the Netherlands to share meals with neighbours. This is how Shareyourmeal got started.

Our dream

The idea behind Shareyourmeal is that eating brings people together. We hope to connect neighbours through Shareyourmeal. In addition, we want to prevent wastage of food, as an incredible amount of food is thrown out in the Netherlands on a yearly basis. And finally we also hope to encourage people to eat healthily. Shareyourmeal offers a healthy, tasty andconnecting alternative for dinner! We hope that people will soon be able to pick up a tasty meal from one of their neighbours, every night, anywhere in the Netherlands.

But also outside the Netherlands, as we are busy launching Shareyourmeal in other countries. and for example are already live. It is our dream for sharing food to become a world-wide trend!  

Social entrepreneurship

We consider Shareyourmeal a socially engaged enterprise: we are entrepreneurs who aim at improving the world. We take a professional approach, but our social objective is of chief importance. We define profit in a wider sense than just financial profit. Our profit consists of social and sustainable added value which we offer society.

Obviously we need a revenue stream to cover our expenses. For the first year, we receive a starting capital from the DOEN Foundation. Now we need to preserve our finances. In doing so, we aim at combining a somewhat more commercial approach (through sponsoring, advertisements and paid subscriptions) with the social character of our neighbour platform. 

Sharing economy

Through internet we can now achieve what used to be customary: sharing. In other cultures it is still common to cook large quantities, just in case someone drops by. Dropping in on someone is no longer very customary in the Netherlands. Shareyourmeal makes sharing food possible again.

Shareyourmeal therefore fits in well with the trend of a sharing economy. More and more consumers work together by borrowing, exchanging, renting or buying things, money and services of each other. CDs and books are exchanged on-line through Swaptree; people rent out their car to others through Snappcar and through Peerby neighbours can borrow or rent things from each other like drilling machines. Such initiatives make traditional dividing lines disappear between producer and consumer. On-line technology allows for matching supply and demand between consumers on a local level. In essence it is all about making something valuable (like leftover food) end up where it is needed (with hungry neighbours).

The sharing economy makes our society more social and more sustainable! A trend worth being part of! 


Some nice feedback from users

We are overwhelmed by the enthusiastic responses and nice stories from cooks and foodies. We like to share some of them with you.

Home cook Claudia: “I really enjoy this: I can use my creativity, please people with a good serving of tasty food and I receive nice comments! The contact with the people is also very enjoyable. The other day a collector repaired my laptop and this summer I looked after the cats of another collector.”

Mother of home cook Bente: “Bente is 8 years old and has Down syndrome. Bente would like to become a cook when she grows up. Thanks to Shareyourmeal the neighbourhood can now get to know Bente and see her potential instead of her limitations. For Bente herself it is also an incentive to help cook more often.”

Home cook Mrs. Harders: “At the last minute a friend of ours was not coming for dinner, which resulted in leftover homemade tomato soup. We placed it on Shareyourmeal and an hour later a neighbour was at our doorstep. We also gave him a baguette with herb butter and a kiwi to add some vitamins. We are getting on in years but in this way we can still participate in what is happening in our neighbourhood. We are not in it for the money, but just to feel good.”

How it works

The foodie 

When you register on the website, you will automatically receive e-mails with all the meals in your neighbourhood. Or you can look on the website to see which delicious meals are on offer near you.

If you see something you fancy click on ‘order’ to order the meal and your order will be e-mailed to the cook. Additional requirements (for example: do not add salt) can be added when you order.

When the cook accepts your order, you will receive an e-mail with confirmation and additional contact information for the cook. The price and pick-up time will already have been on the website, but are mentioned in the e-mail as well.

We advise the foodie to bring their own container to put the meal in. This is better for the environment, or of course, you can make a different arrangement with the cook!

The price will be paid in the exact amount and in cash when you pick up the meal. Because the cook and foodie arrange this together, we don’t add any extra (mediation) costs or surcharges!

Would you like to show your friends what delicious meal you will be picking up tonight? That's very easy! Click on the Facebook or Twitter icon and the meal will be posted immediately.

After you've enjoyed your meal, you can give the cook a thank you. You will receive a link to the website in your email box, which you can use to send a thank you to the cook. (Also, you can go to "My Shareyourmeal" to see if you have outstanding thank-you’s.)

And did you know that, if cooking is just not your thing, there is no obligation to cook whatsoever!!

The cook 

Once you offer a meal on Shareyourmeal, you will be displayed as a ‘cook’ on the website. When you put a meal online, you write down shortly: 

 - The name of your meal.

 - What kind of ingredients you use.

 - How many portions are on offer.

 - Until which date interested foodies can order the meal.

 - Within which timeframe foodies can pick up the meal.

 - The price per portion. (These are the costs for buying the ingredients)

 - If you like, you can also add a picture of your meal.

Caution: Do not remove and re-add your meal if you want to change something. This is not necessary because you can always change the meal after you've placed it on the website. Additionally if you remove a meal, you also lose your thank-you’s.

When the meal is placed, other members in the neighbourhood will receive an e-mail with your meal(s). They can click on the link to your meal and order it. You will then receive a meal order which you can accept or reject. When you accept the order, you will receive an e-mail with the foodie's contact information.

When you’re signed in on the website, you can also accept or reject meal orders. First, you click on ‘My Shareyourmeal’. Then, you can click on the tab ‘meal orders’. Here you will find a neatly ordered list of all meal orders. You can also find all the contact information here.

Because you can determine everything yourself, you can make sure that everything fits within your own schedule. Foodies need to indicate a certain time at which they will pick up the meal. In this way, you always know how much time you have to buy the ingredients and at what time you can expect them to come. Also, you won’t be stuck with a lot of leftovers. Preferably, you won’t use any disposable trays when offering a meal as this is not the best option for the environment.

Would you like to show your friends what delicious meal is on your menu? That is very easy! Click on the Facebook or Twitter icon and the meal will be posted immediately.

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