CINCINNATI — One year ago, Kroger Co. introduced its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste campaign — which was designed to address the issue that 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is thrown away, despite one in eight Americans struggling with hunger. And now the company is celebrating the campaign’s achievements.
In its first year the campaign has been recognized by Fortune magazine, which slotted the campaign at No. 6 on its “Change the World 2018” list. The magazine’s editors recognized Kroger among large companies willing to commit resources to addressing society’s most complex issues.
Through the campaign, the company has been able to provide more than 325 million meals to families in need in Kroger communities while the company’s food rescue program was enhanced to provide not only more meals but more balanced meals. The campaign also directed some $181 million in charitable giving toward ending hunger.
Additionally, the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan provided new avenues for Kroger shoppers to donate money in support of the social impact plan, and Kroger became the first major retailer to commit to phasing out single-use plastic grocery bags. Kroger also forged a partnership with Oprah Winfrey and her O, That’s Good! food brand to provide the nonprofit group Feeding America with 1 million meals to help feed needy families across the country, and a strategic plan was launched for a $10 million Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund to finance scalable solutions to waste reduction.
As year two of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste begins, Kroger will launch pilot projects with the potential to increase food security and reduce food waste in high-impact areas of our stores such as produce, seafood and deli,” said Jessica Adelman, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs. “Key initiatives will include accelerating Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue Program, expanding the number of retail stores participating in food recycling, partnering with growers and suppliers to address food waste in the supply chain, and launching the $10 million Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund.”