The Kroger Co. announced the launch of the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund and its first open call to support the company's plan designed to end hunger in its communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025. Kroger invites eligible innovators to submit a letter of intent through March 4 for ideas and solutions to prevent food waste.
"Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste effort is at the forefront of shaping the national discussion around how to end hunger and eliminate waste at scale across America," said Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs, in a statement. "Achieving Zero Hunger | Zero Waste requires creative ideas and scalable solutions to disrupt the food system as we know it. Through Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund, we seek to partner with creative thinkers and innovators who share our vision for a better world. Kroger's history of generosity is captured in the forward-looking mission of our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, and we are committing up to $1 million in grants for the first cohort to inspire and capture the innovative thinking required to fix our country's hunger-food waste paradox."
Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund is a signature program of The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, a new public charity designed to catalyze collective action and direct resources where they are needed most to help transform Kroger communities.
For the inaugural open call, Kroger will award grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 per project, prioritizing emerging technologies and ideas focused on food waste prevention. Proposals will be evaluated by the board of directors for The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, as well as an advisory council of leaders from World Wildlife Fund, Feeding America, ReFED, Kroger Technology, and 84.51°. Criteria includes alignment with Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan, potential for positive impact in U.S. communities served by the Kroger Family of Companies, ease of implementation, geography and measurability and scalability.
Applicants must submit letters of intent by March 4 to receive a chance to be selected as finalists and provide full applications for grant consideration. Grant recipients will be announced in the spring, and grantees will receive access to Kroger leaders and partners; the potential to test their solution with the Kroger Family of Companies or a partner; networking opportunities with program peers, industry experts and investors; visibility through case studies, showcases and promotional content; and the option to apply for follow-on funding.
"We are excited to launch our new Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and first Innovation Fund open call dedicated to identifying food waste solutions that can disrupt and help Kroger fulfill our vision of serving America through food inspiration and uplift," said Adelman.