Zero Food Waste Heroes

It all began when Lotti Henley, Maria Ana Neves and Chris Wilkie read in the press that supermarkets were throwing good food away. Around this same time, Lotti met a single mother with three children living in West London. The woman couldn’t afford to give each of her children a hot meal every day, they had to take it in turns. The family was experiencing food poverty, while a supermarket nearby was sending perfectly good food to a landfill. Lotti, Maria and Chris decided to do something about this distressing situation and that’s when Plan Zheroes was born.

Our mission is to inspire and encourage food businesses to donate their surplus food to charities who are feeding the homeless and the vulnerable, instead of sending it to a landfill. We want people in UK to be Zero Food Waste Heroes.

Most of the food donations we manage are made using an online platform, created and supported for us by a software company. The platform features a community map where businesses and charities that register with us can connect with each other. This innovative approach enables us to facilitate food donations anywhere in the UK.

On any day that a business has surplus food, it can post a notification about the donation via the platform to charities nearby. The charities claim and collect the food on a first-come-first-served basis. So, in most cases, Plan Zheroes doesn’t see the food that is donated. We don’t collect, store, or deliver it. We manage the relationships between the donors and the recipients.

“There are currently almost 14 million people affected by food poverty in the UK, while over 3 million tonnes of good-to-eat food is wasted by the food industry every year.”

In addition to managing donations on the platform, we hold regular collections at Borough Market and at the Real Food Market at King’s Cross in London. We have teams of unstoppable volunteers who collect food from the traders and distribute it to charities in the community.

Our primary principle has always been to inspire and never criticise. We want to create Zero Food Waste Heroes.

Our second principle is to collaborate, not compete. We work with other food redistribution organisations such as FareShare, The Felix Project and City Harvest. They have transport and storage facilities which we don’t. We are able to help redistribute small amounts of food, and perishable food, that may not be useful for them.

There are currently almost 14 million people affected by food poverty in the UK, while over 3 million tonnes of good-to-eat food is wasted by the food industry every year. That is enough for an estimated 7 billion meals (Source: FareShare). It’s a crazy situation but it doesn’t have to be this way!

If you would like to help us in our work, please get in touch at

In 2017, Emerging World kindly introduced us to a Kuwaiti client in the petroleum industry, KPC. A team from the company did a strategy day with Plan Zheroes, providing some external consultancy to help shape our forward planning. Following the discussion, we took the team to Divine Rescue, a charity that we support with food donations, where they met the service users and learnt about the work of the charity.

We were very grateful to Emerging World for facilitating this connection and look forward to partnering with them again in the future.

The Partner Perspectives blog provides a place for our partners to share their stories, talk about the work that they do and the impact this is having in their communities and the world beyond. If you’re interested in learning more about our Partner Network contact us.