By Lena Blietz
For restaurants and shops whose patrons demand the freshest ingredients, there will always be food that goes to waste. That’s where Zero Percent comes in. The Chicago-based startup collects excess food from restaurants across the city to donate to local non-profits.
The company, whose name means zero percent of food should go to waste, will host its first Restaurant Giving Week from Feb. 22-28. The event will help raise money for food transportation costs. Usually the non-profits receiving the food are responsible for picking it up, which can cost from $20-80 a week, depending on the location of the charity and the restaurant, said Anna Jensen, director of growth at Zero Percent.
Donors can visit www.restaurantgivingweek.com to give $5 and in return they receive a treat voucher from the participating restaurant of their choice.
With over 20 restaurants participating, the treats range from fresh salad in a jar at Farmer’s Fridge to a doughnut and coffee at the Doughnut Vault to a tap-tasting hour at the Hopewell Brewing Company of Chicago.
The week has a three-part mission, Jensen said. It will help publicize Zero Percent and its website www.foodrescue.io, celebrate the restaurant partners, and highlight a new kind of giving using micro-donations.
Restaurants pay a monthly fee to Zero Percent, which covers the costs of scheduling food pickups, some marketing services and statistical analysis.