Did you know in the UK, 13 million people are living in poverty, while 650,000 tonnes of perfectly good food is thrown away by food businesses?
This is a crazy situation - but it doesn't have to be this way. Plan Zheroes is a social network, where relationships are built between food businesses and charities, communication is quick and simple and food reaches those in need, safely and conveniently. They seek to inspire food businesses to give their surplus food to those who need it, so it will never ever go to waste.
Started in 2011 as a citizens’ campaign run purely by volunteers who were helping to connect businesses with surplus food to nearby charities in need of food. Fast forward to 2016 and Plan Zheroes is now a registered charity who are not only providing solutions to the wasted food challenge in the UK, they are also working with key partners such as WRAP HaFSA (Hospitality and Food Services Agreement) to prevent food waste by 5% in this sector.
The team at Plan Zheroes believe they would not be where they are today without the wonderful support received from the RSA and its Fellows.
Maria Ana Neves, a Co-Founder was an RSA Fellow, so applied for the RSA Catalyst award to fund the idea of an innovative online map which would make food businesses and charities visible to each other.
After the initial Catalyst award was successful in proving the demand for their idea, Plan Zheroes were fortunate to receive an additional award giving them an amazing platform to progress their work. As well as the financial support, it was invaluable to have the guidance from the Catalyst panel, who encouraged them to think about ways that Plan Zheroes could become sustainable beyond the first award, which ultimately led them on the path to become a registered charity.
Equally as important as the Catalyst award funding was the assistance received from many RSA Fellows. This included advice on project management, legal issues and help in organising a CSR volunteering day. Currently Plan Zheroes have two RSA Fellows on their board of trustees, including their Chair. For other exciting developments in the Plan Zheroes story take a look at their news section of their website.
The RSA will continue to work with Plan Zheroes to champion them in the next stages of their exciting journey.