Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I consider donating surplus food?
There are three main reasons why food businesses are donating their surplus food.
Reason 1: The environment will love you for it.
40% of our food ends up in landfills. And much of that is fresh food that can be safely eaten by others (not rotten food or scraps). Not only does this take up precious landfill space, but rotting food produces methane, a gas that is 21 times more damaging that carbon dioxide. Because restaurants serve lots of yummy food every day, they have an opportunity to play a key role in reducing our "foodprint" in the US.
Reason 2: It is a great way to support your community.
16% of the people in our country are considered food insecure, meaning they are unsure of how to find their next meal. Luckily, there are thousands of non-profits around the country dedicated to feeding the hungry. But oftentimes, those non-profits operate with small budgets and slim resources. Helping your neighborhood non-profits feed the hungry is a great way to give back to the communities that patronize your restaurants.
Reason 3: Tax savings
Businesses that donate surplus food to local non-profits are eligible for significant tax deduction. The more you donate, the more tax savings you are likely to see. Currently all food businesses can file for tax savings for donating food. This means restaurants owned by corporations, franchise businesses and independently-owned businesses.
What if my business does not have surplus food regularly?
That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider donating. Every little bit helps and in fact, the Zero Percent network is perfect for occasional, ad-hoc donations. Post your donation in 30 seconds on the ZP network whenever you happen to have food surplus. Non-profits in your area will be alerted immediately to find the agency best fit to pick up your food.
How can I make sure that all donated food is safe to eat?
It's pretty simple actually. Just follow these food safety guidelines. They are accessible on the Zero Percent platform every time you make a donation, just in case you need a refresher or are donating for the first time. Non-profits on our platform are aware of food safety guidelines and have trained staff and volunteers that preserve your food in a healthy way.
Should I be concerned about liability when donating food?
Absolutely not. Businesses are exempt from liability via the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996, a bill passed into law to help encourage food donations. The only exceptions are rare cases of gross negligence. As long as your staff follows these simple food safety guidelines, you shouldn't anticipate any problems.
Why should I use Zero Percent to donate food?
You can certainly donate food without using the Zero Percent platform. But if you've already made the choice to donate food, using Zero Percent is a no-brainer.
Donate food, hassle-free.
Donations are posted on the ZP network in about 30 seconds. Post from your smart phone, using the app, or do it from your computer. And non-profits automatically receive your donation alerts in real-time. Never mind keeping to schedules. Never mind calling non-profits to pickup unexpected donations.
With Zero Percent, it is more likely that your donation will be picked up. It alerts a number of volunteers on the network. That way, if one volunteer isn't available to take your donation, the system continues to alert volunteers in the area until it finds one that's available. This helps not just maximize donation opportunities, but also extend your support to a number of non-profits in your area.
Data. Data. Data.
The Zero Percent platform tracks all donations. What kind of food did you donate? How much did you donate? What days of the week have you been donating this past quarter? What non-profits are accepting your donations? All that data is captured can be passed over to you. Not only will this satisfy your curiosity, but it makes it incredibly easy to file for tax savings.
How can I calculate my tax savings for food donations?
Simple. Use this calculator.
How can I make sure my employees are using Zero Percent to donate surplus food?
Have your employees trained on using Zero Percent. The platform is amazingly easy to use. But training is still helpful. And our staff can conduct a live training session online for your staff to see.
Also, it is important to make donating food apart of your everyday culture. Include it on your daily to-do list. Write a reminder on your white board or leave a note by your waste bins to help your staff make donating food a habit.
If Zero Percent is free for non-profits and free for donors, what is in it for you?
We only charge donor businesses when they request detailed donation data for tax savings and decision making. And in the future we may offer optional premium services.
So, why are you a food donations company?
We are a tech company with a mission of eliminating food waste. We believe that facilitating food donations is an effective way to reduce food waste. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says donating food is the 2nd best preferred way to reduce food waste. And we're willing to facilitate food donations in any area of the country that serves this mission.
May I see a demo of the Zero Percent platform?
Certainly. But only because you asked politely. Take a look at this video of how Einstein Bagels in Champaign-Urbana, IL is using Zero Percent.
How can I learn more and ask questions?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to chat live.