According to Food Swap Network, a food swap is a recurring event where members of a community share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other. Swaps allow direct trades to take place between attendees, e.g., a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles or a half-dozen backyard eggs. These events are a delicious way to diversify the homemade foods in your own pantry while getting to know members of your local food community.

This particular NWI Food Swap will take place throughout the counties of Starke, Porter, LaPorte and Lake located in northwest Indiana (surrounding areas, such as Marshall County,  may be included.) Locations will depend on availability of venues. You don’t have to live in a particular county to be involved. It just depends on how far you are willing to drive. Once you attend one food swap, you’re going to want to attend them all…they are just THAT fun.

Tentatively, NWI Food Swaps will take place on a Sunday afternoon, from 3pm to 5pm CST, every other month. These months will be opposite of the Chicago Food Swap so those closer to the state line can attend both.  A cap will be placed on attendees (with a waiting list), appropriate to the size of each venue. RSVP’s will only be taken through Eventbrite on the internet, so be sure to follow@NWIFoodSwap on twitter or the NWI Food Swap Facebook page to stay current on the latest information and swap invites.

Swaps usually last about two hours. This is the format of most of the swaps:

• The first 30 minutes: sign-in, set-up, and greetings. Swappers fill out name tags and swap sheets and set up their wares on the tables. A swap sheet is a printout that contains the swapper’s name, product, ingredients and an area for others to write down what they would like to swap. It’s encouraged to fill these out at home, as not to waste precious browsing time at the actual swap. You will need one swap sheet for EVERY type of item you bring. Example: If you bring 3 jars of salsa and 6 loaves of bread, then you will need 2 swap sheets.

• The next 30 minutes to 1 hour: walk around, examine, and sample items from the other swappers. Swappers will write their names and items they brought on the sheets for any items they would like to take home.

• The final 30 minutes: all the swapping actually happens. Everyone goes back to his or her original sheets of paper, looks at the offers, finds interested offerers via their name tags, and swaps.

Food swapping is a growing movement: nationally and internationally. The more people realize how important homemade foods are, the more they seem interested in the variety of swapping with other people! If you have any other questions, please feel free to visit the FAQ section of this site or simply contact.If you would like to read more personal experiences with the Chicago located food swap, I have listed a few links below:

  • Food. (Just Sayin’) – Chicago Food Swap: It’s About More Than Just Food
  • West of the Loop – Recap of the December Chicago Food Swap
  • Chef Druck – Tomato Plants, Cola Syrup and Spices Gallore at the June Chicago Food Swap
  • Suburban Scrawl – Chicago Food Swap: Almost Like Hanukkah!
  • A Carrot and a Cupcake – February 2013 Food Swap
  • Chicago Food Swap

Can’t wait to meet you…Happy Swapping!

***NWI Food Swap is always looking for a venue. Do you know of a space such as a business, community room, church basement, etc. that would be willing to donate the time and room for a pop-up event? It would need to hold about 40 people preferably with tables. If so, please contact! We need 5 different spaces for the 2013 year.***

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