Zero Hunger, Zero Waste: Kroger, WWF & Feeding America
In a wealthy country like the United States, it is always puzzling to realize that one in eight Americans struggle with hunger and 1 in six children go without a meal every day. And yet, 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is thrown away.
The Kroger Company decided that it could shrink this disparity, using its status as America’s grocer to deliver more meals to hungry Americans and to reduce the amount of food that is wasted. With stores across the country and existing partnerships with Feeding America, the World Wildlife Fund and ReFED, Kroger’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste program is a commitment to end hunger and eliminate food waste across the company by 2025.
Kroger sees this as not only a social program, but one that’s also good for business. “Working to end hunger by eliminating food waste will reduce costs within our business and increase loyalty from customers,” the company said in its Halo Award application.
The program takes a many-pronged approach:
- Accelerate food donations to give 1 billion meals by 2020 and 3 billion by 2025.
- Donate more balanced and nutritious meals, not just more food.
- Work to become a zero-waste company by 2020 and achieve zero food waste by 2025.
- Launch a $10 million Zero Hunger | Zero Waste innovation Fund to help fund innovative projects
- Advocate for public policy solutions where needed to help achieve the goals of zero hunger and waste.
- Join forces with new and long-standing partners to achieve goals
- Transform communities and improve health for millions by 2025.
So far, the program is succeeding in its social and business missions:
- Kroger was ranked #6 on Fortune Magazine’s 2018 Change the world list based on its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste program
- Awareness of the program increased to 15 percent from 11 percent between 2017 and 2018.
- Its Buy One/Give One campaign for its Simple Truth store brand earned $3.5 million in sales—and in 15 days sold 1 million units, which equaled 1 million meals donated.
- Kroger’s brand reputations increased 2.7 points in 2018, according to RepTrak.
- The Kroger Co. Foundation refocused its philanthropic giving and now, 81 percent of its grants go to hunger relief organizations.
- Kroger joined with Oprah Winfrey to donate one million meals to Feeding America. Together with Winfrey’s food like O, That’s Good!, Kroger pledged an additional one million meals to Feeding America to help families across the country.