The sweet tooth is a powerful motivator. It’s also the heart of a Reddit community and perhaps the key to a greater good. Snack Exchange (or /r/snackexchange as Redditors prefer) is a community within Reddit encouraging users to trade regional and local snacks with others around the globe, filling and making requests for favorite treats from far away.
The reward for traders, aside from delicious treats and an increased risk for cavities, can go way beyond a little nosh. “I seriously had so much fun with this!”, Reddit user IdealBumpkin writes, “I also learned a few things about snacks in the South. Apparently we like peanut butter, marshmallow and cherry in our soft drinks. Go figure.”
As if filling mailboxes with sweet surprises isn’t enough, /r/snackexchange moderator happybadger upped the ante, calling on his community’s altruistic side.
“Each month, starting with May, we will have some cause [on] /r/snackexchange […] This month, we are supporting the American Diabetes Associationand the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation”, quipping, “We’ve done enough damage as far as diabetes goes and should help to fix the situation.”
Redditor Sarahsahara makes the connection in a comment thread about the idea, “Working together with other real world communities like Suicide Watch? Hmm, I see potential here… flood the ones who feel so lonely with care packages with home baked cookies and thoughtful hand written letters.”
As tongue-in-cheek as his introduction and online manner may be, happybadger’s intentions aren’t in jest. He explains in reply, “Pretty much exactly that. If someone in /r/assistance posts that they’re hungry in Seattle, we’ll have [someone in] /r/Seattle to step forward with offers of dinner. If someone in /r/suicidewatch posts that nobody loves them, BAM/r/craftexchange.”
So can snacks save a life? No. But, can a community?