Food sharing groups in Russian provinces

Conscious food consumption is becoming a trend not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also in other cities of Russia. On VK you can find open communities with thousands of users dedicated to food sharing outside of the two capital cities. As a rule, it is ordinary people who give out food in them, in more rare cases, representatives of small business and individual entrepreneurs. In addition to food, users share other things, such as toys and medicines, as well as news, recipes and information about foodsharing, its goals and the experience of saving usable products in other cities.

The largest and most popular communities (more than 4,000 users each) dedicated to food sharing exist in Petrozavodsk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Podolsk and Arkhangelsk. Many groups from Moscow and St. Petersburg also publish offers from the Moscow and Leningrad regions. Medium-sized communities (2,500+ users) operate in Novosibirsk, the third largest city in Russia. Smaller, but still active communities (less than 2,000 users) work in Irkutsk, Perm, Lipetsk, Tula and Tyumen.

There are also small groups in other cities, but often they are not active or are no longer used to exchange food. If you look at the geography of VK food sharing communities, it seems strange that such large million-plus cities as Yekaterinburg and Kazan do not have active food sharing communities, while in smaller cities they exist and are popular. This is partly due to the fact that, as a rule, the initiators and administration of a popular community are a small but motivated group of users who actively distribute food or take part in other charity initiatives. Such people create a significant part of the offers, as well as fill the group’s page with videos, news and other content, popularizing food sharing in their city. Often they are open to cooperation with other communities and organizations and rely on the experience of food sharing activists from other cities.

The success of each community depends on the volume of interesting news and relevant posts, as well as on the activity of the administration, which filters ads, irrelevant offers and monitors compliance with the rules. Communities that meet these criteria successfully promote and disseminate food sharing ideas even in small towns.