The FAMCare Blog

Zero Hunger/Zero Waste

Posted by GVT Admin on Apr 25, 2023 12:54:43 PM


erasing hunger

As we reported earlier this year, few Americans know that hunger has become a serious social problem in the U. S. We tend to think of countries in drought plagued Africa or the war-torn Middle East as places where children suffer malnutrition and die of starvation. However, food insecurity and nutritional depravation continue to haunt Americans in urban pockets of poverty and remote rural regions across our country.

The latest government statistics report that approximately one in five adults reported experiencing household food insecurity at the end of 2022. High food price inflation, along with elevated costs for other basic needs, such as transportation and rent, have likely eroded food budgets in the last year, and some of the safety net responses that buffered food insecurity in 2021 are no longer in place. In addition, 35% (229 million tons) of all food produced in the U.S. every year goes unsold or uneaten and is thrown away while nearly 42 million Americans – one in eight – struggle with hunger.

In our last report on hunger in America we highlighted the role of nonprofits and social service agencies in the battle against food depravation. This week we would like to shine a light on one “for-profit” company that is making an amazing contribution to the fight against hunger in America.

The Kroger Co.

With nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states under two dozen banners and annual sales of more than $132.5 billion, Kroger today ranks as one of the world’s largest retailers. This corporate behemoth, however, has a heart. Its mission statement hints at the social conscience that informs the company’s drive to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.

  • We increase access to fresh, affordable food through our retail stores, seamless digital channels, and local partnerships. We honor the farmers, workers and natural resources needed to produce the world’s food by making sure we fulfill our highest purpose: feeding people.”
  • “We cut greenhouse gas emissions, food waste and energy consumption for a healthier climate; reduce waste in our operations; optimize water use; offer more sustainable packaging; and practice sustainable sourcing across our supply chain.”
  • “Our $10 million Innovation Fund invests in social entrepreneurs and creative thinkers with new solutions to improve food security and prevent food waste.”

Zero Hunger/Zero Waste

Zero Hunger/Zero Waste is Kroger’s social and environmental impact plan. It sits at the center of their ESG strategy and reflects their commitment to build a more resilient, equitable and sustainable food system that improves access to affordable, fresh food for everyone – for generations to come. Zero Hunger/Zero Waste attacks hunger and food waste from 8 points of departure:

  1. Feed. Expand surplus food recovery and redistribution to provide a total of more than 3 billion meals to our communities by 2025.
  2. Nourish. Improve health and well-being by promoting fresh foods and affordable better-for-you options for our customers.
  3. End waste. Embed retail best practices to optimize ordering, extend freshness and reduce waste in our own operations.
  4. Inspire change: Direct funding to social entrepreneurs who are transforming our food system through the Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation’s Innovation Fund.
  5. Advocate. Support public policy and legislative solutions that improve food access and create infrastructure for a zero-waste future.
  6. Transform. Advance planet-forward agricultural production methods around the world to conserve natural resources and protect habitats.
  7. Collaborate. Cultivate long-standing and new partnerships for meaningful collective action to achieve our Zero Hunger/Zero Waste goals.
  8. Build stronger communities. Align charitable giving, community engagement and volunteerism to create a better future.

Kroger’s Concrete Contribution

Unlike many for-profit corporations with high minded mission statements, Kroger has put its money where its mouth is. In the last 5 years, Kroger has donated $1B to hunger relief, delivered 2.3B meals to the communities they serve, donated 500 million pounds of surplus food, granted $5.2M to social entrepreneurs along with along with $44.6M in grants from The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation to support food recovery and systems change.

Thank You

Our focus on the nonprofit world has caused us to inadvertently overlook the substantial contributions made by socially conscious for-profits like Kroger. A sincere thank you from all of us who work in nonprofit.


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Topics: Homeless & Food Pantry, social issues

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