IMPACT
10/11/2016 08:01 am ET Updated Oct 12, 2016

Now You Can Buy Leftover Buffet Food For Next To Nothing

The service saves food from being thrown out and donates a portion of the profits to charity.

This article is part of HuffPost’s “Reclaim” campaign, an ongoing project spotlighting the world’s waste crisis and how we can begin to solve it.

Now you can get extremely cheap grub and prevent delicious food from being thrown in the trash. 

The BuffetGo app lets users buy leftover food from restaurant buffets ― at up to 90 percent off the original price. 

Simply enter a zip code to find participating restaurants nearby. Once you order a meal ― for as little as $1 in some cases ― you go pick it up at a designated time, which is usually around closing. After showing your email receipt, you can fill a to-go container with buffet food and find a place to devour it.

The app was founded in Finland in 2014, reports Business Insider, and is now in eight countries worldwide. Though the service launched in the United States in September, its mobile app is not yet available there, so people must use the website for now.

BuffetGo says it saves more than 240,000 portions of food from being sent to landfills each day.

Food waste is a major problem worldwide. In the U.S., up to 40 percent of food goes uneaten, while one in five households with kids don’t have enough to eat

When food gets tossed, it usually ends up in a landfill, where it decomposes and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

For every meal sold through BuffetGo, the company donates 20 percent of the profit to the United Nations World Food Programme ― which is dedicated to fighting hunger worldwide ― according to the Chicago Tribune. Of the 80 percent remaining, BuffetGo gives the lion’s share to the restaurant that made the food and keeps the rest. The precise revenue split varies from restaurant to restaurant, a company spokesman told the Tribune. 

Not too many options in the Big Apple.
BuffetGo
Not too many options in the Big Apple.

There are only a handful of restaurants listed in some cities, though the company is set to expand its offerings soon, BuffetGo founder Emil Lolby told The Huffington Post. 

There were just three options in New York City at the time of this writing, which might be too inconvenient for people who don’t live close by them and are accustomed to getting their food delivered. But the service’s rock-bottom prices might motivate them to try it out: At one of the Big Apple locations, BuffetGo offers a price markdown from $20 to $3 for one of the restaurant’s meals.

Different apps in other countries have also gotten into the leftover food game. TooGoodToGo in the United Kingdom lets people to order leftovers from restaurants at a discount; and in Spain, the Yo No Desperdicio app lets people coordinate and exchange surplus food with others nearby.

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Please help support Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a nonprofit that operates in 12 cities across the United States, providing solutions to ensure excess food goes to people in need. Donate via the Crowdrise button below:

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