Proposal talk:Food sharing

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Proposal:Food sharing page and its related topics.


"Tag:amenity=recycling - recycling:food=* would be deprecated by amenity=food_sharing" - note that food may be recycled and not be used as food for humans. "food sharing" is rather reuse, typically consider superior to recycling (in reduce reuse recycle).

For example collecting food and using it as feed for pigs would (I think) count as recycling, but it would not be food sharing Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:16, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

@Mateusz Konieczny: Thank you, for your hint about collecting food for animal, I think that would be useful. Currently the tag recycling:food is used 19 times. I have checked these POIs, the tag is not used consistently. In my opinion these POIs can be changed to recycling:organic=yes and some to amenity=food_sharing. For the collection of food for animals I would prefer a more specific tagging, such as recycling:old_bread=yes. I opened the discussion by creating a section on the recycling tag talk page about deprecate recycling:food and adding a note to those places in osm. --ToastHawaii (talk) 08:26, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
I admit that my point is theoretical, but I am suspect about deprecation idea. Maybe something "clarify that using recycling:food for food sharing (reuse) is incorrect" would be a better idea? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:40, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
@Mateusz Konieczny: I get some other feedback that some mappers do not like recycling:organic=* because: "Organic food in English is food produced naturally without the use of chemical fertilizers, pest controls etc. It is a common term, and attracts a premium price. The French equivalent term is Bio. Using the term Organic implies only Organically produced food can be recycled." and a other I also found out that there are other tags with similar meaning e.g. recycling:green_waste=*, recycling:garden_waste=*, waste=organic that are used. A lot to discuss, but that is not part of this proposal. I have changed the description of the "Features/Pages affected" section. --ToastHawaii (talk) 14:06, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

amenity -> social_facility

Wir sollten nicht so viele Hauptschlüssel neu erschaffen. Ich finde es passt besser amenity=social_facility, social_facility=food_sharing, ... --Geri-oc (talk) 14:43, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Translation: I think we should not create so many keys under amenity. I think amenity=social_facility + social_facility=food_sharing fits better ...

@Geri-oc: Danke für den Hinweis. Eine Vielfall an Erfahrung ist mir wichtig.
Findest du, dass diese Art von Einrichtung einen sozialen Dienst anbietet und/oder ein soziales Problem verringert? Wo hast du schon Kontakt mit dieser Art von Einrichtung gehabt? Welche Erfahrung hast du dabei gemacht?
Ich nehme an einer ähnlichen Diskussion in der Tagging Mail Liste teil und sammle unterschiedliche Meinungen und Argumente.
Mir ist ein klare Beschreibung im Wiki wichtig.
Tranlation: Thanks for the hint. A variety of experience is important to me.
Do you think that this type of facility provides a social service and/or reduces a social problem? Where have you had contact with this kind of facility before? What experience have you made?
I take part in a similar discussion on the Tagging Mail list and collect different opinions and arguments.
A clear description in the Wiki is important to me. --ToastHawaii (talk) 09:27, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Für mich passt social_facility nicht so gut, zumindest, wenn ich mir die wiki-Seite dazu anschaue. Meines Wissens richtet sich zumindest die deutsche Organisation ausdrücklich nicht nur an Bedürftige, sondern an alle Menschen. Es geht, wie schon angesprochen und wie es auch im proposal steht, vordergründig darum, das Wegwerfen von Lebensmitteln zu verringern/vermeiden.
Was ich in der Beschreibung noch ergänzen würde, ist, dass es sich oft um noch genießbare Lebensmittel handelt, deren Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum vorbei ist und evtl. dass der Konsum "auf eigene Gefahr" erfolgt. Fresh products finde ich da ein wenig irreführend, auch wenn die Produkte oft noch genauso gut genießbar sind, wie als sie wirklich frisch waren ;)
En: From my point of view, social_facility doesn't fit well, because at least the german organization is explicit not only for the needy, but for all people. The main focus is on reducing food waste, like it's now also written in the Proposal.
Furthermore I would add to the description in the wiki, that often the products have exceeded their best-before date but still are well eatable. "Fresh" is a bit misleading.--Trampintheforest (talk) 08:55, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
@Trampintheforest: Ich habe die Dokumentation mit "... überschüssigen, übrig gebliebenen oder für den Verkauf nicht geeigneten verderblichen Waren oder Produkten, die ihr Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum überschritten haben, aber immer noch gut genießbar sind" aktualisiert.
I have updated the documentation with "... surplus, leftover or not suitable for sale perishables or products that have exceeded their best-before date but still are well eatable." to address this. --ToastHawaii (talk) 19:49, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
I agree with food_sharing not necessary being an social facility as unlike food banks it's usually not restricted to any group of people (in need).--Roadlifehacks (talk) 14:49, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Specific amenity value make sense

To me such specific boxes are like amenity=give_box (several products, free to deposit and to take) or amenity=public_bookcase (books).

So it seems to be a good idea to have amenity=food_sharing.

+1 The only problem I see in contrast to amenity=public_bookcase is the sporadic, irregular or temporary nature of food sharing. In my experience it is e.g. after the shop closes they put the lefovers (if any) in a food sharing --MomoMilkiway (talk) 06:20, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
@MomoMilkiway: Do you mean it doesn't always have food? I think it's helpful to know that there's a distribution point. When it has food inside can be done through other channels, website, messenger, etc. Thanks for the hint I updated the documentation with this: "Note: Sometimes there is a contact/channel (website, messenger group) to inform the recipients about new food in the facility."--ToastHawaii (talk) 11:20, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
@MomoMilkiway:Isn't it like this in every gift box/bookcase etc. There, it also could be that nothing is inside.
"after the shop closes they put the lefovers (if any) in a food sharing" - or private persons give their surpluses, could also be from dumpster diving...
@ToastHawaii:Good update! --Trampintheforest (talk) 09:17, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Tag name is slightly misleading

To my mind food sharing means that both donor & recipient make use of the food (often in a reciprocal fashion: e.g., bring & share meals). The examples given all represent a transfer of the donated food from donor to recipient, and this stands slightly outside of what I'd expect from sharing. That being said I can think of no alternative synonyms at present, but please be aware this may ultimately lead to confusion. SK53 (talk) 15:09, 7 March 2020 (UTC)

@SK53: Thanks for pointing that out. I understand that it might lead to confusion with places to eat together.
In some facilities, only a few people fill the facilities, these people have connections to restaurants, shops. These People collect food and bring them to the facility.
In other facilities, all people can give and/or take food.
I also do not know any alternative synonyms at the moment. --ToastHawaii (talk) 11:38, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
@SK53: Would amenity=food_rescue be a clear name? I updated the proposal to make it more specifig to reduce food waste. --ToastHawaii (talk) 09:40, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
@ToastHawaii:I don't like "food_rescue". That just isn't describing it well.
I like the term "free pantry" or something like this as mentioned below (Arguments and comments from the Tagging [Public refrigerators] E-Mails) but you've deleted it from the Proposal site becase it's more social focused, am I right? Maybe this two versions could be covered by one "main tag" (sorry, I don't know the right term) and then be distinguished by a "lower level" tag?
I think the term "food sharing" is well known (at least amongst the most people I know) and if you understand sharing as giving others something from your stuff, it is completely right and not that much misleading.--Trampintheforest (talk) 09:49, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
@Trampintheforest: Thanks for your reply. This motivates me to discuss further in order to create a clear proposal. The little free pantry they described reminds me more of a give box (with food, products of daily hygiene, clothes, ...) than a food sharing to reduce food waste. They may seem related because both are about food, but for me they are very different.
As I understand Food sharing is about reducing food waste, it is only about food. It has to be cleaned regularly. The given food must be preserved, e.g. with a refrigerator, or picked up as quickly as possible, e.g. supported by a notification system.
As I understand a (little) free pantry ist about donate food, products of daily hygiene and other items to those in need. It has some social service aspect, some of the items could be second hand. Maybe those deserve their own tag. At the moment I would document those with amenity=give_box. --ToastHawaii (talk) 20:22, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
@ToastHawaii: I see your point! Do you think it needs a different term than "foodsharing" at all? The only thing, that comes into my mind beside "food_sharing" is something like "saved_food_distribution_point" but that's quite a roundabout way (auf deutsch würd ich sagen: sperrig ;)).--Trampintheforest (talk) 08:20, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
@Trampintheforest: I'm not sure that it needs anything other than "food_sharing". But I understand that "food_sharing" does not describe it clearly.
I like "saved_food_distribution_point" it gos in the right direction. Thanks for that. :D But, I also think this is to long... --ToastHawaii (talk) 08:58, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
I don't see any problem with the term sharing here. The roles of donor and recipient are not static. The same like a book sharing box everyone can bring and everyone can take. The same person collect some food and leave some at the same time. Even if it would be run mostly by one "donor" it would still be sharing as that would be the thing that person does with the food.--Roadlifehacks (talk) 14:44, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Arguments and comments from the Tagging [Public refrigerators] E-Mails

Tagging mailing list - Public refrigerators

I've noticed that recycling:food= has been added [1] to amenity=recycling wiki page with the meaning "community fridge [2] to help reduce food waste".



In my opinion, it's not a good idea to tag community fridges (public refrigerators) amenity=recycling, because containers for recycling or reuse are only for depositing and not for picking up. What if there are also containers where food can only be deposited, but not picked up (similar to containers for clothing donations)? We couldn't tell them apart any more.

As we already use amenity=public_bookcase and amenity=give_box for two very similar facilities, it seems better to use something like amenity=public_refrigerator or amenity=community_fridge. --Markus, Tue Feb 25 15:44:49 UTC 2020

I agree with your thoughts re not using amenity=recycling. I've tagged a couple of Community Fridges near me as amenity=social_facility + social_facility=community_fridge
as this tagging (although not documented anywhere) mirrors that for Clothing Banks, Food Banks and Soup Kitchens, which are listed at , and seem to be related sorts of things. (Though I'm not sure how much these community fridges are designed to provide useful items for those in need, versus just help reduce waste versus. The balance is probably slightly different for each implementation.) --Robert Whittaker (OSM lists), Tue Feb 25 17:30:13 UTC 2020
I would agree with tagging as amenity=social_facility rather than amenity=public_fridge because I would prefer not to add to many more amenity types. Rather I would want to subclass existing amenity types. --Tim Magee, Tue Feb 25 17:38:32 UTC 2020
Is there a problem with more amenity=* keys?
Maybe it would have made sense to put all reusing facilities together in amenity=reuse or similar, but with already 5,538 uses of amenity=public_bookcase it's probably too late. --Markus, Tue Feb 25 18:29:39 UTC 2020
isn't this exactly what a amenity=give_box is? Just for food and not for toys or clothes. With your proposed tags, we would need yet another one for non-cooled food, so this is a bad idea in my opinion.
So, I suggest: amenity=give_box + food=only + refrigerated=yes --Jan Michel, Tue Feb 25 18:45:39 UTC 2020
Yes, similar. On the other hand, public bookcases, which have their own tag, are also kind of give boxes.
> amenity=give_box + food=only + refrigerated=yes
Not perfect, but way better than amenity=recycling or amenity=social_facility in my opinion. --Markus, Tue Feb 25 18:55:47 UTC 2020
I found four tags that people use for food sharing social_facility=food_sharing, amenity=food_sharing, social_facility=community_fridge and recycling:food=yes.
Food related sharing boxes are common:
* (~800 documented)
* (~750 documented)
In my opinion, food released boxes deserve their own tag. Give boxes and foot related boxes have a different concept in detail. Some foot related boxes eg. have a fridge, some disallows meat or only a group of people is allowed to fill it up. Little free pantry seems for giving food to poor people. Foodsharing seems for reduce food waste.
The amenity=give_box tag is specific for sharing and reusing none food items. Please do not use it for food sharing.
Currently I use and suggest amenity=food_sharing [+ fridge=yes] to tag this kinds of facility. --Markus Peloso, Wed Feb 26 07:54:35 UTC 2020
+1, although these are somehow similar features from a certain point of view, they are also significantly different features from another point of view. I am in favor of keeping a distinction on the main tag level. --Martin Koppenhoefer, Wed Feb 26 21:32:18 UTC 2020
The give_box proposal specifically said that food sharing was *not* to be included in the give_box schema.
I voted for that, but since then, with the proposal stalled, I ran into what I'd called a give box for "packaged food & personal care items." It's labeled "free pantry" but it's not just for food. (Non-refrigerated, obviously. There were actually cans of food in here but not visible in this shot.)
Also hiker boxes -- which were explicitly part of the give_box proposal -- often have food as well as clothing, gear, books, maps, and fuel. So maybe the prohibition of food in give_box isn't ideal.
Regardless, though, I don't think a public refrigerator should be a subtag of give_box -- it's too distinct. I think amenity=public_refrigerator makes sense. Using amenity=social_facility plus a subtag would also be fine I guess. --Jmapb, Sat Feb 29 05:29:41 UTC 2020
Most amenity=social_facility features are large "facilities" like a homeless shelter or nursing home or hospice.
I don't think that tag is appropriate for a refrigerator. --Joseph Eisenberg, Sat Feb 29 05:45:07 UTC 2020
I find amenity=give_box is different from amenity=food_sharing as a shop=general is different from shop=supermarket.
In Switzerland if I go into a supermarket I found products of daily hygiene but the main thing is about shopping for food.
The main thing by a give box is about sharing items. In the description I explicit excluded amenity=give_box + food=only because if you go to e give box you expect some items like clothes, small appliances, dishes, toys.
Does a free pantry have some social aspect? Like given food to underprivileged or homless people social_facility:for=underprivileged, social_facility:for=homeless, …
Based on the description on this website I think the main thing is about sharing food and it is some kind of social service. --Markus Peloso, Sat Feb 29 08:43:17 UTC 2020
True, and the use of the word "pantry" on the free pantry I mentioned tells me that it's primarily for food, so it should be fine to tag it as a free pantry and use a description tag for other info. There doesn't currently seem to be a better tag for a public pantry, so I was inclined to call it a give box -- but it's distinct enough that it could get its own tag.
Based on the proposal it seems like there's quite a range, so you can't know what a give box is for without checking additional tags. If this is not true -- if there's a set list of things that every give box should support -- then we'll end up needing other tags for bunch of new features (eg for the free art box.)
I think Joseph's point is well-taken that there's a scale problem with using the word "facility" for a cupboard or fridge. It would be similar to using "library" for a public bookcase. Doesn't mean that we couldn't add eg "public_pantry:for=underprivileged" of course.
The distinction is complicated by the fact that "food pantry" is sometimes used as a friendlier name for full-scale food bank facilities. (There are also many shops and restaurants called "pantry" of course -- it's a common synecdoche.)
Here's where my head's landed:
Public bookcase - Primarily for free sharing of books, may (in my experience) sometimes have other items like music or movies. Has its own well-supported tag. Rendered as a roof over a book.
Free pantry - Primarily for free sharing of food, may include other items such as personal hygiene products. Often has a "donate to those in need" social service aspect, but this is not required. Probably deserves its own tag. Maybe render it as a roof over a hamburger or apple.
Public refrigerator - A special case of free pantry, tag with refrigerated=yes.
Give box (or whatever we end up naming it) - Catch-all for everything that's not specified for books or food, although in some cases they may include books or food. May have a social service aspect, but not required. Will hopefully get its own tag. Maybe render it as a roof over a gift box (shop=gift icon). --Jmapb, Mon Mar 2 18:54:46 UTC 2020

Document public refrigerators

Separating the food sharing amenities seems like a good idea. I'd be in favor of a single tag to which refrigerated=yes could be added to indicate a public refrigerator. --Jmapb, Sun Mar 15 16:42:33 UTC 2020

@Jmapb: I would prefer to use fridge=yes to document this, because this tag is already used by other mappers. --ToastHawaii (talk) 11:55, 16 March 2020 (UTC)


I would add indoor=* to the list of suggested Tags. Just how it is used with toilets the tag indicates whether the place is inside another place. This tag is much more common than location --Michael

@Mfbehrens99: I added indoor=* to the list. I prefer location, because it gives me more possibilities to describe the location of a food sharing. --ToastHawaii (talk) 13:54, 10 June 2020 (UTC)

Additionally, all Food Sharing points have an address. Does it make sense to add this one as well? Especially when importing data from food sharing. --Michael

@Mfbehrens99: This is part of a discussion, at the moment there is no clear approach., I don't usually do this. --ToastHawaii (talk) 13:54, 10 June 2020 (UTC)

Is the contact website intended to be something like this: or should it be an external website from the network website?

@Mfbehrens99: Based on the description "... the official website for the related features ..." from website=*, I will use*&id=* for all food sharing that are official from and for other food sharing facility I would use the external official website. --ToastHawaii (talk) 13:54, 10 June 2020 (UTC)

The same is valid for Facebook. If the foodsharing Facebook page is intended use network:facebook= --Michael

new amenity key for sharing?

As foodsharing, free book shelves, freeshops,... share pretty much the same principle wouldn't it be a good idea to have an amenity key that fits them all?--Roadlifehacks (talk) 15:00, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

@Roadlifehacks: I agree with you that these facilities share the same pinciple. eg. amenity=sharing (or amenity=reuse See: is to generic and not helpfull without a other tag eg. sharing=books.
I suspect that the introduction of a new base key would be more helpful (as with healthcare=* or shop=*). We could use commons=* for example. From what I've seen, it's already being used for that. :) What do you think? Other ideas? --ToastHawaii (talk) 05:52, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
@ToastHawaii:So far I am not completely happy with the tag-names. Commons is a good approach, yet for me describes things that are free/belonging to everyone per se. To me like amenity=sharing_point seems to be the best fit so far. The core point of theses places is to SHARE (food, bread, clothes, stuff) with other ppl (without restrictions and hierarchy, everyone can give, everyone can take). Not sure about a new base key. I've been contributing to OSM with osmAND most of the time and I guess the only thing that can be added there are amenity POIs. --Roadlifehacks (talk) 07:59, 19 April 2021 (UTC)


Hello, I support this proposal and wonder when it will become officially supported? − Pintoch (talk) 11:42, 20 June 2021 (UTC)

@Pintoch: Thanks for your feedback and for willing to document food_sharings in OSM. This motivates me to continue working on the proposal. :D What blocks me is that there is no base tag for this kind of facility. See the discussion: new amenity key for sharing? section. I have plans to propose one eg. commons=*. But I need support, clarity and safety before I start the discussion and proposal for the base key. I need more clarity and safety if commons is a good choice. Or what name might be a good choice. What do you think? --ToastHawaii (talk) 10:09, 21 August 2021 (UTC)

Fridge only vs. fridge and shelf

Using the proposed tags, one can define that a food sharing facility has a fridge or not. However, if fridge=* is set to yes, it is not clear, if the facility has only a fridge or also a shelf for depositing food that shouldn't be refrigerated. I think there should be another tag like shelf=* for indicating whether there is a shelf or a box. --Dafadllyn (talk) 16:34, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

@Dafadllyn: fridge=yes supports the map users to know that they can also bring refrigerated food to this location. Have you met food_sharing in the wild that have none space for unrefrigerated food? All the places I came across had space to place unrefrigerated food. But for places where there is no space for non-refrigerated products, fridge=only could be used. What do you think? --ToastHawaii (talk) 09:48, 21 August 2021 (UTC)

I've only come across a handful of food sharing facilities yet. All had a fridge and most had an additional shelf with a box for storing non-refrigerates food like bread, but this one only had a fridge. In my opinion, shelf=* or box=* were clearer, but fridge=only should also work. Dafadllyn (talk) 10:20, 23 August 2021 (UTC)