Last week while I was doing research for a new book I plan to write about meal practices around the world, I ran across a website called mealsharing.com. I was thrilled to see this organization since bringing people together through the activity of sharing meals is a primary passion and goal for my book and The Shared-Meal Revolution.
I made contact with Jessica Smith Soto who is their community manager. What follows below are answers from Jessica about their organization. It’s such an exciting idea to share meals with people all over the world that I wanted to share this information with you. Enjoy!
Mealsharing.com is a website that enables travelers and locals to connect with each other over home cooked meals. Hosts around the world are now able to open up their kitchens to people so they can experience their life through food. The website facilitates community building through shared resources, promotes cultural exchange, and encourages people to cook at home to enable a healthy lifestyle. It works through our platform, where you can create a profile that helps share who you are. You can search by city and see either locals or hosts, and request/invite them to a meal share.
Where did the idea of Meal Sharing come from?
The idea of Meal Sharing was solidified while Jay Savsani, our founder, was traveling in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Jay had the unique opportunity to be hosted by a Cambodian family for a meal in their home. It was such a magical experience to be in their home, eating traditional Cambodian dishes, and sharing tales from their respective homelands. The best part of the evening was when the host busted out his Casio keyboard and played some classical Cambodian songs. It was this first Meal Share, even before there was a website, that was a major milestone in highlighting the development of what Meal Sharing is today.
Who do you feel would benefit from Meal Sharing?
Everyone who eats! People can choose if they want to be a host or guest. Some people love to express their creativity through cooking food, and some just love to try it. Home cooked food tends to be healthier, fresher, and more local, and there is a stronger human connection.
When would someone want to use Meal Sharing?
While it started with travelers in mind, now it’s become a way for locals also to connect in their own neighborhoods. Our mission is to point to anywhere on the map, and be welcomed to a home cooked meal, whether it’s in your hometown or across the world from everything that is familiar.
What is one of your favorite Meal Sharing event memories so far?
As community manager, I attend very frequent Meal Shares! It’s hard to say which one is my favorite because my favorite thing about Meal Sharing is how unique every experience is thanks to the diversity of our hosts. One of my favorites might be with a host named Anna. She’s from Ireland and lives in Chicago, and the food she made was so fresh, and the whole meal was from scratch. She feels very strongly about good butter, and we had buttery garlic bread, hummus, spinach cannoli, and salad, followed by molasses cookies and coffee/tea. There was a good mix of her friends, and people new to Meal Sharing, and it was just one of those nights when I looked around the table and said “THIS. This is what Meal Sharing is.”
How do I find out more about Meal Sharing?
Visit our website for a clear vision of who we are as a community, www.mealsharing.com, and engage with us on social media! We are on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Instagram. We are also re-vamping our blog very soon!