Kroger Celebrates Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Momentum in 2020

America's largest grocery retailer directed record one-year total of 640 million meals to fight food insecurity in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 21, 2021

5 Min Read

CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced its new progress and results for Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, the company's bold plan to help create communities free of hunger and waste by 2025.

"This past year has been a challenge for so many—especially those who are trying to provide for their families amid hardship," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "In 2020, we continued to deliver on the principles of our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment, focusing on ways to support food insecure individuals and families and reduce waste across our entire organization. We have made considerable progress, and the momentum we've achieved shows that the Kroger Family of Companies is always striving for a better tomorrow."

The continued economic impacts of COVID-19 reflect the relevance and impact of Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan. The company remains dedicated to building a more resilient and equitable food system and global supply chain.

Kroger's ongoing commitment to a future without hunger and waste achieved the following notable milestones in 2020:

Zero Hunger

  • Kroger directed $213 million in charitable giving to help end hunger in its communities, with the organization's total charitable giving reaching $301 million. 

  • Kroger associates rescued 90 million pounds of wholesome food from its stores, food processing plants and distribution centers through its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program. While total surplus food donations declined 10% as more customers were stocking up and preparing meals at home, increased charitable donations enabled critical feeding programs in our communities. 

  • In food and funds combined, Kroger directed a record one-year total of 640 million meals to individuals and families struggling with hunger across the country, an increase from 493 million meals in 2019. 

Zero Waste

  • Kroger achieved 81% waste diversion from landfills company-wide, up 1% from the prior year. The company also reduced total trash sent to landfills by 4% versus the prior year. 

  • Kroger expanded its food waste recycling programs to 2,285 stores, up from 2,120 stores in 2019, reflecting the launch of new programs in the retailer's Central (Illinois and Indiana), Dallas and Houston supermarket divisions. 

  • 31 of 34 Kroger-operated manufacturing plants are Zero Waste facilities, an important milestone against the company's Zero Waste goals.

Recognizing Kroger's Zero Heroes
"Freeing our communities of hunger and waste requires leadership and commitment from our Kroger Family of Companies and beyond. We want to recognize and thank our Zero Heroes, associates, customers and students around the country who have dedicated time and energy to achieving our ambitious goals," said McMullen. "We owe a debt of gratitude to these Zero Heroes every day as we create a brighter future for people and our planet."

For each store team and individual associate Zero Hero, Kroger will direct a $2,000 grant on their behalf to a local nonprofit organization of their choice that helps advance the collective mission.  

Kroger's 2020 Zero Heroes include: 

FOOD DONATION HEROES: These are the leading teams across the country that have implemented Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program exceptionally well and redirected thousands of pounds of surplus food to their communities.

Store 224


Store 673


Store 359


Store 755


Store 059


Store 263


Store 970


Store 537


Store 015


Store 392


Store 407


Store 737


Store 492Mississippi 

Store 341


Store 891


Store 671

South Carolina 

Store 686


Store 014


Store 594


Store 501


Store 857


ASSOCIATE FUNDRAISING HEROES: These are the cashiers across the Kroger Family of Companies' retail footprint who led the way in activating donations by asking customers to help end hunger by rounding up their order at checkout to benefit The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation.

Jen Tudor

Cincinnati-Dayton Division

Colleen Burrows

Columbus Division

Nick Damico

Columbus Division

Beth Tipton

Columbus Division

Candice Peterson

Dallas Division

Steve Pounds

Dallas Division

Julie Wolff

Dallas Division

Rockie Ubleman

Dallas Division

Mahin Boca

Dallas Division

Anatoli Bondarchuk

Fred Meyer Division

Sonja Smith

Fred Meyer Division

Sandy Carmichael

Fred Meyer Division

Kelly Standley

Fred Meyer Division

Michelle Rankin

Fred Meyer Division

Kim Tucker

Fred Meyer Division

Patty Kuzma

Fred Meyer Division

Anton Nordberg

Fred Meyer Division

Debra Bilyeu

Fred Meyer Division

Judith Lesliepatton

Fred Meyer Division

Robin Morris

Fred Meyer Division

Debra Van Matre

Houston Division

Dee Dee Hamby

Mid-Atlantic Division

Kathy Lange

QFC Division

Kurt Mincin

QFC Division

Kroger is also recognizing nearly 2,000 dedicated students across 42 states as Zero Heroes for taking action during the 2020-2021 school year to advance United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger and Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. In partnership with InnerView Technologies, students from over 340 schools invested nearly 60,000 hours of service – despite more virtual learning and fewer volunteer events – to support Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste mission by learning about global social and environmental issues and taking action locally.

"We are grateful for the effort of every Zero Hero and our entire community to lift up Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment, which continues to drive meaningful outcomes," said Keith Dailey, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer. "There are still many families and communities experiencing the impacts of hunger and waste in our country. We are committed to doing even more to meet our goals and create a future with zero hunger and zero waste – and we encourage other organizations to join our moonshot mission."   

About The Kroger Co.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve 60 million households annually through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

About The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation
The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation (the "Foundation") is a 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 2018. The Foundation was formed to support initiatives that create communities free of hunger and waste.

SOURCE The Kroger Co.

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