The Kroger family of companies has a long history of bringing help and hope to the communities we serve. Since our earliest days, Kroger has taken care of our neighbors and each other. When founder Barney Kroger opened his doors to give day-old bread to hungry residents, Kroger’s spirit of giving began. Now, 135 years later, we are more committed than ever to providing food and nourishment to help people live their best lives.
Zero Hunger | Zero Waste addresses a fundamental absurdity in our food system: 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is thrown away, yet 1 in 8 Americans experiences hunger. As America’s grocer, we believe we have to do something about that. Perhaps more importantly, we believe we can address this absurdity because Kroger has both the scale and local connections to our communities to tackle this challenge.
We are setting ambitious goals, leveraging our charitable giving and outreach efforts, and bringing our trusted partners on the journey – because we can’t do it alone. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste is our vision, and this is our plan:
Where We Are Today
Since introducing our plan in September, we have focused on understanding where we are today and setting a course for 2025. Here is a high-level summary of what Kroger accomplished in 2017 on our journey to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, thanks to our committed leadership team and inspired associates.
We have identified several workstreams to determine how to leverage Kroger’s resources and partnerships to achieve our vision of a world with Zero Hunger | Zero Waste. Teams are focusing on:
- Plans to launch our $10 Million Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund;
- Opportunities to improve food security in our communities; and
- Ways to prevent and reduce food waste.
Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund
An exciting element of our plan is Kroger’s $10 Million Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund. A few years ago, Kroger put extra funds in The Kroger Co. Foundation. Now we will use it to fund new ideas and scalable solutions to help end hunger, and particularly, to prevent and reduce food waste.
We are working closely with ReFED, a multi-stakeholder nonprofit organization focused on food waste reduction, to develop our program focus, fund strategy and governance model for our Innovation Fund. We believe Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund will serve as a platform to work with food waste industry leaders and seek input from other partners and stakeholders. We look forward to gathering ideas, collaborating with partners and finding solutions to help transform our communities.
The initial phase of our work will focus on creating a national grant portfolio spanning the innovation spectrum from concept to scale. Our goal is to help convene an ecosystem of partners aligned with our vision of a world with Zero Hunger | Zero Waste to help achieve long-term change in the food system and in our communities. We anticipate doing an initial call for proposals in late 2018.