MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Kroger announced a plan to eliminate hunger across the country.
The grocery store chain announced its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan Tuesday.
The goal of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste is to end hunger in all the communities Kroger serves and to eliminate waste across the company by 2025.
"No family in a community we serve should ever go hungry, and no food in a store we operate should ever go to waste," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO.
More than 40 percent of the food produced in the United States every year goes to waste. Meanwhile, one in eight people in our country goes hungry, according to Kroger.
Zero Hunger | Zero Waste currently contains the following action steps:
- Establish a $10 million innovation fund within The Kroger Co. Foundation to address hunger, food waste and the paradoxical relationship between the two.
- Accelerate food donations to provide three billion meals by 2025 to feed people facing hunger in the places Kroger calls home. In partnership with its customers, associates, and other partners, Kroger has donated one billion meals via combined food and funds donations since 2013.
- Donate not just more food, more balanced meals via Kroger’s industry-leading fresh food donations program. Kroger has been feeding people facing hunger since the company’s inception in 1883, and as a founding partner of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, Kroger has longstanding partners with food banks across the country. Today, Kroger store associates are empowered to identify meat, produce, dairy and bakery items for donation that remain safe, fresh and nutritious. Last year, Kroger donated the equivalent of 46 million fresh meals to local food banks in addition to dry goods and shelf-stable groceries.
- Advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and to shorten the line at food banks, lobbying for continued funding of federal hunger relief programs, and for public policies that help communities prevent and divert waste from landfills, including recycling, composting and sustainability programs that can be scaled for maximum impact.
- Achieve all Zero Waste 2020 goals outlined in the annual Kroger sustainability report.
- Eliminate food waste by 2025 through prevention, donation and diversion efforts in all stores and across Kroger. Develop transparent reporting on food loss and waste.
- Join forces with both new and longstanding partners to identify opportunities, leverage data, and determine where by working together Kroger can help the most.
- Transform communities and improve the health of millions of Americans by 2025 by making balanced meals more readily available, sharing scalable food waste solutions with other retailers, restaurants, and local governments, and working within Kroger’s supply chain to reduce farm-to-fork food loss.
However, Kroger admits those things alone may not solve the problem. That's why the company is crowd-sourcing for more ideas.
"We don't – and we won't – have all the answers," said Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs. "While we are clear about our vision, we are flexible about how to get there. We are working closely with both Feeding America and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), our longstanding partners, to develop transparent metrics to track our progress."