If you look at what's next on Kroger's agenda, you might just forget those headline-grabbing grocery wars entirely. In a new $10 million program dubbed Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, Kroger, one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, is launching a national effort to both end hunger in the communities it serves, as well as 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,” explained Rodney McMullen, Chairman and CEO. “More than 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. each year goes unconsumed, while one in eight people struggle with hunger. That just doesn’t make sense. As America’s grocer and one of the largest retailers in the world, we are committing to doing something about it.”
With Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, the retailer will be taking on the paradox of both food insecurity and food waste existing simultaneously. The company projects that approximately 42 million Americans struggle with hunger, while an estimated 72 billion pounds of food ends up in a landfill every year. With the initiative, Kroger will invest $10 million in a fund that tackles both issues in a variety of ways, outlined below.
“We don’t–and we won’t–have all the answers,” said Jessica Adelman, 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.”
In a press release, Kroger outlines the following goals as part of the plan:
“Zero Hunger | Zero Waste is a vision for the America we want to help create with our associates, customers and stakeholders. This is our moonshot,” McMullen continued. “We recognize we have a lot of work to do. But we know when Kroger’s more than 443,000 associates put their passion to work to make something happen, we can uplift our communities, the planet, and each other.”
If you'd like to follow Kroger on this ambitious, socially-charged mission, or join the conversation yourself, visit thekrogerco.com and check out #ZeroHungerZeroWaste.