TODAY   |  February 28, 2013

Do you Mealku? New twist on potluck

In the mood for a home cooked meal but don’t have time to make it? There’s a new food-sharing service that just might please your palate. NBC’s Erica Hill reports on Mealku, based on the philosophy of sharing more, wasting less, and getting to know your neighbors.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> to get dinner on the table.

>> erica hill is here with more on that.

>> hi, nice to see you. i heard about this, this is a little strange. it's a food sharing service developed out of the philosophy we could all share a little bit more, waste less and in turn not only eat better but be better neighbors. think of it as a potluck meets takeout with plenty of home cooked goodness.

>> i'm making my dad's and mom's laundry day soup.

>> reporter: she's making it for strangers, a home cook ed male swap.

>> it's an individual art.

>> reporter: it's called meal ku.

>> it's where folks cooking and preparing for themselves can share it with others.

>> reporter: ted is the founder of this food share iing cooperative launched last july.

>> we see moms cooking and students and professionals who only have one day to cook.

>> reporter: meal ku acts as the middleman, a place to organize food exchanges, screen potential members and coordinate the pickup and delivery --

>> often by bike messengers .

>> reporter: it is more than a hearty bowl of soup. meal ku is a community on and offline in today's fast paced world.

>> i love that idea, when your own cup is full, whatever spills out, you share it with others. that's the philosophy of meal ku, wasting less and sharing more.

>> reporter: oh, that's good.

>> the service costs $10 a month. but the transactions are handled with ku. a point system. members earn ku points when they post a dish and use ku when they order a meal. it's expected to be five star cuisine?

>> no. because you set the expectations and live with the expectations you set.

>> reporter: hi, lawyuren, with meal q.

>> reporter: while meal ku is open to new members, not everyone can join. a so-called welcome cook comes to visit to make sure you and your kitchen fit the meal ku philosophy.

>> i felt very comfortable after the welcome visit they looked around and want someone who's clean and were particular enough i felt i was comfortable with it.

>> reporter: once a cook and kitchen are approved, the work begins. it's not all in the kitchen. they're are no photos used on me meal ku. it's the dish and story behind it.

>> this woman heard a fantastic story about a woman doing laundry in greece. i said, this is awesome, i have to try it.

>> reporter: one woman's decision helping to fuel a mini revolution, one dish at a time. meal ku currently has 1500 members in new york city . people are setting up their own meal ku communities in southern carolina to california and you met this woman in the piece who had a laundry day bean soup and her grandmother made it. she put feta on top and i made it and my kids like it. my husband ate it. it was delivers. the soup's great. a lot of recipes are online.

>> that's great.

>> there is a small service fee, right? they just added a $10 a month service fee, part of it to pay for the messengers and to keep the runners going and back end technology.