For 11 years, Food52 has been a gathering place for people who believe food is the center of a life well-lived. We support and connect home cooks of all stripes; share the handiest tools for every room in the home; and work with writers from around the world to bring back delicious recipes and heartwarming stories.
Our community is the backbone of Food52 and has been since the start—but is especially important this year. While we can't necessarily be with friends and loved ones in person, we can connect with and celebrate them in other ways, and spread a little joy while we're at it. Food52ers are experts at this.
That's why we’re excited to announce the return of our favorite community event of the season: The Food52 Holiday Swap. And this year, we're doing it 2020-style.
If you haven't been involved in the Swap before, here's a mini-history lesson: Ten years ago, F52er Noëlle (aka, enbe) posted on the Hotline, suggesting a simple food-centered gift exchange between members of the community. Clearly, the idea was a hit—and Noëlle has so graciously worked together with us for the past decade to make the Swap happen.
Each of those years, F52ers have sent the most incredible, thoughtful gifts to each other (to see all the joy, check out #f52holidayswap, plus the Swap's very own Instagram account here). Our community is also thoughtful in giving back: All participants donate $5 (or more) to Food52's annual charity partner. As we have in years past, we're excited to work with No Kid Hungry in 2020: It's a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America through before-and after-school meal plans; food skills and nutrition education programs for families; and research, policy, and advocacy measures.
This year, we'll be doing things a little differently with the Swap. With many of us still sheltering in place, we wanted to keep the spirit of the Swap alive while also keeping our community safest. So, we're offering two ways to participate in the Swap this year:
As one option, we're encouraging participants to purchase a special, maker-crafted item from our Shop to send to their Swapee. This year, we're happy to note that we'll also be donating all profits from each Swap purchase to No Kid Hungry. We're thrilled to be able to do a little bit more for our partner with your help. (Please note that this option is limited to participants with shipping addresses in the U.S. only.)
Or, if you would like to in participate a different way (or live outside of the U.S.) you can instead share a special something that will bring your Swapee joy and comfort this holiday: Develop a custom recipe for your Swapee based on their dietary preferences and tastes, or send them a cherished family recipe that you think they'll love; while you're at it, share a family story or tradition that'll make them (and you!) smile.
(Psst: If you live in the U.S. and want to participate both ways, you can do that, too! You'll just have to fill out this form again and donate to No Kid Hungry a second time.)
So come one, come all—seasoned Holiday Swappers and Swappers-to-Be! Though we know this year looks a little different than Swaps of years past, we hope it'll bring some joy and community connection to your holiday season this year. Next year, we hope to get back to the way we usually do things—sharing homemade treats and wonderful trinkets with other Food52ers. We hope that this year's Swap will still bring you holiday cheer, and allow you to make cherished memories and new friends along the way.
Interested in joining? Read on for a step-by-step guide.
Who doesn't love surprise packages, especially around the holidays and especially from fellow members of our lovely Food52 community? Here, back for its tenth year, is the Holiday Swap—and it's about that time to sign on up!
1) Fill out your information in this form by Monday, Nov. 16. (You'll need to sign up for a Food52 account first if you don't already have one.)
2) Before you're able to submit your form, you'll need to contribute a donation of at least $5 to No Kid Hungry.
3) Receive an email with your Swapee's name and information by Tuesday, Nov. 24. Make sure to add [email protected] to your address book so the email doesn't get sent to your spam folder. (And note that even though that we call it a "swap," you just might send to and receive a holiday surprise from different folks, getting a chance to interact with two F52ers instead of one!)
4) The best part: Prepare a holiday surprise for your Swapee! We ask that you order your gift or put the finishing touches on your personal message by Friday, December 4. Some guidelines for each Swap option below:
For the holiday gift option: Visit the Food52 Shop and pick out a special gift that's under $50 (we've got a few ideas for where to start here—but anything is fair game: cookbooks, jams and preserves, unique ornaments and trinkets, a new apron... the list goes on). When you get to the checkout, enter your Swapee's address in the "Shipping Address" field, and enter the code SWAP2020 to make sure your purchase gets counted towards our donation to No Kid Hungry. Feel free to send along a snail mail card separately as well for a personal touch. We're just asking that people don't exchange home baked goods this year to keep everyone comfortable.
For the recipe exchange: Take a peek at your Swapee's dietary restrictions and tastes, then craft a custom recipe for them (our former recipe developer, Ella Quittner, has a few tips on how to get started). Or, dig up a family favorite from your recipe box that you think your Swapee will love. Write it down in your own special way (this could be on a simple index card, custom-designed using your Photoshop skills, or uploaded to Food52 and printed out), tuck it in a lovely card of your choosing (with a message full of holiday cheer, of course!), and send it off to your Swapee.
And regardless of which route you decide to take, please note that we are asking that folks kindly do not send each other handmade treats for safety.
(Psst: If you'd like and are able to participate both ways, you can do that, too! You'll just have to fill out this form again and donate to No Kid Hungry a second time.)
5) Get a surprise in the mail from your Secret Swapper and open with glee! Take pictures of your special token and share them on Instagram—tag them with #f52holidayswap.
6) Thank your Swapper by snail mail, email, skywriting, or your preferred method of communication. (We can't say enough how essential this step is, so try not to forget, please!)
By signing up for this swap, you are promising to send a gift or another surprise of some kind. Don't leave a fellow Food52er hanging! (We will find out, and unfortunately, you will not be allowed to participate in future swaps.)
For community members outside the U.S.—you’re welcome, too! Note, though, that if you are international and sign up, you're committing to sending your surprise anywhere, either in your home country or elsewhere in the world.
Have any questions? Ask them in the comments, or email us at [email protected].