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Kroger eyes household food waste

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Grants of up to $1 million are available through the Food Waste Challenge

CINCINNATI — Kroger continues to deliver on its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment, the centerpiece of the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy.

The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation — in collaboration with the Foundation for Food & Agricultural Research (FFAR) — has launched the Food Waste Challenge, to develop the means to measure food waste generated in U.S. households.

“The first step to combating food waste is understanding the scale of the issue, which the Food Waste Challenge aims to illuminate,” said Denise Osterhues, president of The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and Kroger’s senior director of sustainability and social impact.

The partnering foundations are seeking applications for grants of up to $1 million to develop potentially successful measurement methodologies and to devise a pilot study to validate the proposition. The application deadline is July 13.

“It’s exciting to see so many dedicated entrepreneurs and innovators working to prevent food loss and waste today,” Osterhues said. “Through The Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation’s Innovation Fund, we help connect these innovators with resources to help them succeed and to advance positive changes for people and our planet.”

A reliable, standardized household food waste measurement is critical to reducing food waste at the consumer level, said Lucyna Kurtyka, senior scientific program director at FFAR.

Household food waste is likely underestimated, according to FFAR, which notes that attempts to track the problem have been inconsistent, even in terms of defining “food waste.”

Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR aims to advance “actionable science” benefitting farmers, consumers and the environment. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda.


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