Zero Percent, a Food Rescue App


  • Sustainability Problem
    • Up to a third of harvested food is wasted.  This inefficiency causes higher water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions than would otherwise be necessary to feed the population.
    • In industrialized countries up to 40% of food waste happens at the consumer site when people and restaurants discard unused items from their kitchens.
    • At the same time, 1.2B people globally do not have enough food to eat.
  • Technology/Solution
    • Zero Percent is an app that allows commercial restaurants to donate their food to charities like soup kitchens and food banks.
    • Donor lists the food items available and non profits can select the products that are right for them (for example, bulk nonperishable items could be more appropriate for a food bank) and schedule a pickup
    • The restaurants are charged a fee for participating and presumably less food waste reduces the overall waste disposal costs for the restaurant.
  • Stakeholders
    • Restaurants
    • Nonprofits that serve food to low income populations
    • Non profits already in the food rescue business (ex: City Harvest)
  • Implementation Steps
    • Market to businesses with clear business case for waste cost savings
    • Partner with existing food rescue organizations
    • Invest in drafting and complying with local food safety guidelines to protect brand.
    • Aggressive targeted community outreach to build strong networks of donors and recipients in select communities.


2 thoughts on “Zero Percent, a Food Rescue App

  1. I think this is a very cool idea! We produce so much waste while others are suffering from insufficient food: there has to be a way to connect these two groups, and this app is a great start! My main concern is the transportation portion, because from what I understand, in many instances, the transportation costs outweigh the cost of either throwing the food out, or buying certain food directly. Perhaps this app can also facilitate this transportation/the logistics (e.g. if several food banks in one neighborhood have placed food orders from one retailer, then only one of them is responsible for picking up all the food at the retailer and bringing it back to their neighborhood, where the orders can then be distributed). This is a great find though! We need more initiatives like this…


  2. Zero Percent is a great idea for reducing waste caused by imbalanced supply and demand food distribution. The simplicity of its food-donation process can encourage more businesses and nonprofits to participate; however, I wonder if there are restrictions to the quality of food allowed for donation. Zero Percent’s technology makes it easier to collect donations and it generates revenue by imposing fees to businesses.


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