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Our Story

UK food businesses throw away 3 million tonnes of food per year – most of which could have been eaten by people. At the same time, an estimated 8% of UK households struggle with food insecurity*.

In response to this we’ve created a food donation platform that enables businesses to quickly and easily post their donations of surplus food online, and for nearby charities and community groups to claim food, then pop round to collect.

Join our food donation platform today!

Our values and principles

  • To inspire and never to judge or criticise
  • We are non-political and represent no commercial interests
  • Work together with others, not against
  • We seek to listen and learn from others
  • We make complex issues simpler
  • We promote community building
  • We develop practical solutions to practical problems

*Source: WRAP, ‘Food Surplus and Waste in the UK Key Facts,’ 2021. United Kingdom Food Security Report 2021

“Inspire and help connect businesses with charities to give surplus food to people who need it”

“One day no good food will go to waste and no one will have to live in food poverty”

Our History

It all began after the financial crash in 2008, when Lotti, Maria Ana and Chris began reading in the press about supermarkets throwing good food away, at a time when many people couldn’t afford to buy enough food for themselves and their families. 

Lotti heard about a single mother with three children living near her in London. The woman couldn’t afford to give each of her children a hot meal every day, they had to take it into turns. 

This was happening while a supermarket just a short distance away was throwing good food away at the end of the day. So Plan Zheroes began simply as a group of people who wanted to stop food from going to landfill and get it to charities supporting people affected by food poverty.  

And the name, Plan Zheroes? M&S had recently launched their Plan A sustainability campaign, so Maria Ana thought we should be Plan Z – a grass roots, bottom-up community project, rather than a corporate initiative. Our aim has always been to inspire people to be zero food waste heroes, so we became Plan Zheroes.  

One of our friends suggested it would help to create an online community map, showing the locations of businesses that could donate surplus food, charities that could use it and volunteers who could help us with our mission. This has proven to be one of the keys to our success, as it makes the businesses, charities and volunteers visible to each other. 

With the help of the software company, Keytree (now part of Deloitte), we created an online platform to host the community map. Whenever a business has surplus food to donate, it can post a notification which is sent out to local charities, describing the type and amount of food, the location and the collection time. The charities claim and collect the food on a first-come-first-served basis. 

So most of the food donations we help with are managed on the platform and we don’t collect, store, or deliver the food. Our main role is to manage the relationships between the businesses and the charities, to make sure the donations run as smoothly as possible.