Be a Zero Restaurant and become a community hero

By Nat Jenkins, Consultant to Civil Institute for Voluntary Action

ZERO restaurants is an exciting new green venture launching in Hackney this summer with the help of the Civil Institute for Voluntary Action (CIVA) and the support of Hackney Council and Hackney Markets.

The ZERO restaurants network will bring like-minded, environmentally conscientious food businesses together todo something positive to tackle the twin problems of food wastage and food poverty. Many families in the UK are struggling to feed themselves. And food poverty is increasing as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Food production contributes 25% of global emissions, with an estimated 30-40% of all food produced being wasted and the world’s population predicted to rise by 40% by 2100.

In order to become a ZERO restaurant, all we are asking is that a cafe or restaurant agrees to serve one plant-based meal a week sourced from at least 70 percent surplus food (food which would otherwise go to waste) on a Pay What You Can basismeaning that anyone in the community can enjoy a healthy and delicious meal.

We will help source healthy surplus food from local providers, including Hackney Markets and E5 Bakeries and other charitable initiatives in the area. We will promote the event through our partners in the local and national press and will work with participants to tailor the best way of hosting a ZERO meal event, there are lots of exciting possibilities. 

We expect the pilot launching in Hackney in July, with an event at JAGO community cafe, to be a big success and to get a lot of positive attention in the media. There will be eye catching signage for participants so that customers know the restaurants is doing something positive for the community. 

The Covid pandemic has given us time to reflect. We should emerge different and better, with more energy and creativity towards creating a sustainable future for everyone. Joining with us will help you towards this. You can find out more about our venture here and keep in touch on social via @zerorestaurants.

If you would like to join our scheme, or if you have any questions or ideas for us, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via email: [email protected] or phone: 07841 395 172.

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