The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, and The Kroger Co. Foundation partnered with ReFED, a multi-stakeholder, non-profit organization committed to reducing food waste in the United States.
"When we shared our bold Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative in September, we emphasized our plans to establish a $10 million innovation fund within The Kroger Co. Foundation to address hunger, food waste and the paradoxical relationship between the two," says Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs. "Our newly-formed relationship with ReFED will challenge us to create the best strategy, structure and program to invest the funds in the most innovative solutions that will help end hunger in the communities we call home and eliminate waste in our company by 2025."
Kroger's partnership with ReFED will help accelerate the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste vision. ReFED works with businesses, investors, innovators and policymakers to move the food system from acting on instinct to insights to solving the national food waste problem. ReFED features an innovator database with more than 400 food waste solutions providers.
"Philanthropic capital is needed to foster innovation in ways that other sources of capital cannot; to target and scale solutions lacking a market-rate application, develop capacity for market-based solutions and seed pilot projects, proofs of concept and other market-building activities," says Chris Cochran, ReFED's executive director. "We're excited to work alongside Kroger and The Kroger Co. Foundation – a true leader in bringing together capital and innovation to eliminate food waste."
"At Kroger, our Purpose is to Feed the Human Spirit, and it comes to life through Zero Hunger | Zero Waste," Adelman adds. "A company's purpose and social impact matter now more than ever. Our innovation fund gives us a platform to work with food waste industry leaders and seek input from other partners and stakeholders to maximize its impact. We look forward to crowdsourcing ideas, funding prototypes and pilots and bringing solutions that work to scale to transform our communities."