Our Beloved Holiday Swap is Back—& Better Than Ever

Sign up now to join in on the fun.

October 15, 2021
Photo by Studio52

It's the most wonderful time of the year: the Food52 Holiday Swap is back for 2021. And the best part? It's back in full swing.

If you haven't been involved in the Swap before, here's the backstory: 11 years ago, F52er Noëlle (aka, enbe) posted on the Hotline, suggesting a simple food-centered gift exchange between members of the community.

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 to Food52's annual charity partner. This year, we're excited to support Feeding America®: For 40 years, Feeding America® has responded to the hunger crisis in America by providing food to people in need through a nationwide network of food banks.

In 2020, we made the most of a tricky situation. To keep our community safe—and to give back a little extra—we put on a virtual version of the Swap, and asked participants to either send their Swapee a different kind of gift: one from the Food52 Shop that we'd handle the fulfillment for, or a beloved family recipe via email. In addition to the donation required to enter the Swap, we donated all profits from the Shop gifts to No Kid Hungry—and thanks to your help and generosity, were able to raise over $23,353 (!!!).

What's New With the Swap

This year, we're going back to the Swap in its original form: We're asking folks to mail a care package of their choosing to their Swap match directly (including at least one homemade item, if you're able!).

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I tried to fill out the join the swap form but it MANDATES that you check the box that says "I donated." Now what?”
— Miss_Karen

And since we're committed to raising as much as we can for Feeding America®, we are asking that Swap participants donate at least $10 in order to participate this year via this link. If this isn't possible for you, but you still want to join in the Swap, please email us at [email protected]

How To Participate In The Holiday Swap

1) Fill out your information in this form by November 16, 5pm ET. (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 sign-up form, you'll need to contribute a donation of at least $10 to Feeding America®. Click here to access the donation link.

3) Receive an email with your Giftee's name and information by November 23. 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'll more than likely 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 Giftee! We ask that you send out your gift by December 6.

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 us @food52holidayswap with #f52holidayswap.

Answers to FAQs

  • If you cannot afford the $10 entry fee, please email us at [email protected]; if you can spare more, consider it an act of good faith for Feeding America® and other Swap participants.

  • We're sorry, but we cannot accept late sign-ups!

  • The swap is open world-wide! As it can be expensive to ship to other countries or outside of the continental U.S., if you are based in one of these areas, we will do our best to match you with someone nearby. If by some reason you are matched with someone too far away to send a timely/cost-effective gift, email us [email protected]

  • Please make sure to use the email address associated with your Food52 account as you use to fill out sign-up form.
  • Please do not mail items in an envelope or a soft-sided box—packages have been crushed in the mail. One participant mentioned USPS flat rate boxes are a good option they remain the same price no matter the weight.

  • Click here to access the sign-up form.

  • Click here to access the donation link.

  • Reach out to [email protected] with any further questions.

What's your favorite way to spread holiday cheer? Share in the comments section below!
The All for Farmers Market

We’ve joined forces with Tillamook to support All For Farmers—a coalition benefiting farmers across the nation—with a special market that gives back. Featuring Shop all-stars and a limited-edition Five Two apron, a portion of proceeds from every purchase supports American Farmland Trust’s Brighter Future Fund.

The All for Farmers Market

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. These days, you can keep your eye out for her monthly budget recipe column, Nickel & Dine. Rebecca tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.


Danielle H. November 26, 2021
I have not received an email with my persons name or information… what should I do?
Miss_Karen November 21, 2021
What if your assigned Swapee doesn't have ANYTHING in their profile? No clues, so to speak.
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 22, 2021
Hi! Your person should've written an introduction telling you a bit about themself, as well as shared their preference for sweet or salty—if they didn't share anything too specific, simply put together a box that you would be excited to open!
Miss_Karen November 23, 2021
Alright. Thanks. There isn't anything on his profile. Opening statement was 2 sports he likes and 'salty'.
Miss_Karen November 18, 2021
Sophie, I'm glad you mentioned the cookbook. That certainly was NOT a last minute item. :)
Also,I think that's great advice even if you are a newbie: put together a box that you would want to open!
Stephanie November 16, 2021
What a disappointment. I just thought about this tonight and missed the sign up by just a few hours. If anyone finds themselves in the same boat and wants to swap, let me know.
Miss_Karen November 18, 2021
I would be delighted to swap with you Stephanie :)
[email protected]
MichelleBee November 16, 2021
I made my donation but I never received confirmation about my sign up.
thank you
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 16, 2021
Hello—you must fill out the google sign up form here: in addition to donating by TODAY at 5pm ET. If you have done so, you should be all set! You'll receive your match by 11/23. Please email [email protected] with further question.
MichelleBee November 16, 2021
I did.
But I got an email saying that they didn't see me and signed up. Please let me know if I need to reregister
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 16, 2021
OK, you're all set! I believe I replied to your email but let me know if you didn't receive.
MichelleBee November 16, 2021
[email protected] November 4, 2021
Good morning. I signed up and made payment for the food swap. I haven’t received any more information after the payment. Should I have received a survey or any more information yet?
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 4, 2021
If you filled out the google form and donated you should be all set! You'll receive your match in a few weeks. Please email [email protected] if you want to confirm further
[email protected] November 4, 2021
So if I paid, the google form was attached to the payment form?
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 4, 2021
Please scroll up to the "Answers To FAQs" of this blog post! But even if you've donated, you are not fully signed up for the swap unless you fill out and submit the below sign up form. Please email [email protected] if you have more questions!

Sign up form:
Solveig M. November 4, 2021
I can’t seem to enter a non-US zip code for donation, can you help?
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 4, 2021
hi! please email [email protected]
Frances G. October 20, 2021
I'm an excited first-timer to 52swap. Can someone who has participated in the past share their experiences and gifts. Thanks!
JenniferD October 27, 2021
I’m feel the same, Frances. I’m hoping to get a little more guidance as we get closer. I’d hate to disappoint anyone 😀
Miss_Karen October 28, 2021
I would say that a Thank You note goes a long ways. Also, get a tracking number for your package (you know how the mail is...) It was such a drag the gift to me went AWOL and nobody could find it. Take a look at their profile- saved recipes, wish list etc. THAT is a very useful clue about what they like.
Alison October 28, 2021
I've done the swap twice before - I think there is a lot of diversity in terms of what participants send. Personally, I've received homemade cookies/crackers. In terms of "gifts," I've received homemade tea blends, pralines, chocolate bars local to the sender. I tend to send more things of the homemade variety, with a couple food or food-related items from where I live. You can always check out the Instagram page for the swap - people share photos of gifts so you can get some ideas. Have fun!
SophieL October 31, 2021
I've participated in the swap for several years and love it! The Food52 community is so generous, so talented, so creative. The swaps I've received have included delicious unusual treats, cute holiday socks, ornaments, regional specialty ingredients, recipes, cookbooks - swapees put so much thought in the gift box. I did/do the same. I highly encourage foodies to sign up.
HaleyA November 5, 2021
Their instagram account has "unboxing" pictures of boxes that people mailed in the past! When I participated two years ago, both the package I sent and the one I received included something like 3-4 types of handmade cookies/candies and a couple random local treats (edible-- honey, cocoa powder-- or not-- coffee mug, oven mitt). From the Instagram, you can see there's a lot of variety, though-- especially in how much people want to DIY :-)
Jess M. November 15, 2021
I've participated before and had a great experience. The Food52 community is so generous and it's so fun to put a box together. I've received cookies, tea, spices, regional food items, etc. "Put together a box you would be excited to open" is great advise if you're an excited first-timer deciding what to send. Really anything is fair game, as long as it ships well. Oh, and don't forget to say Thanks! to your gifter- that's just the icing on the cake :)
Jacqueline H. October 18, 2021
I. Am. Excited. So glad the swap is back. I've been saving cookie recipes for months!
Miss_Karen October 18, 2021
I am unable to donate at this time (I have several adverse things transpire- including the death of my mother.)But, I still wish to participate. When I tried to send an email to the link provided- it wouldn't go through. I tried to fill out the join the swap form but it MANDATES that you check the box that says "I donated." Now what?
Miss_Karen October 18, 2021
Author Comment
Rebecca F. October 18, 2021
Hi Miss_Karen—I emailed you from the swap account addressing this question. Please read that note and feel free to reply directly to that email with further questions!
sjstratton October 18, 2021
Hi there-do people on the swap specify if they are allergic to a specific food, say to nuts? Or is it my responsibility to check in with my "swapee"? Thanks!
Author Comment
Rebecca F. October 18, 2021
Hi! Please take a look at the sign-up sheet, where there is a place to note all allergies/dietary restrictions. Thanks!
Sandra October 18, 2021
What is it? I don't understand because iam hearing impaired let me know thanks I appreciate that
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 4, 2021
Hi, please email [email protected] with any questions and we'll do out best to help!