The Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation has established an Emergency Covid-19 Response Fund to help families disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. Through the newly established fund, Kroger and the Foundation aim to direct $10 million in local, state and national grants to pandemic response efforts.
“We recognize the need in our communities is urgent and increasing every day,” said Keith Dailey, Kroger’s group VP of corporate affairs. “Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan is our commitment to help create communities free of hunger and waste—and never has this mission been more important. In response to the overwhelming outreach from our partners and customers who want to support our mission, we’re providing new ways to meaningfully give back in stores and online during this unprecedented time.”
To accelerate the Fund’s response efforts, Kroger and the Foundation have launched new charitable giving platforms, offering customers easy ways to give back to their communities. Starting April 20, customers can easily and quickly support the Fund in the following ways.
- Round Up to End Hunger (stores and fuel center kiosks): Customers can now round up their purchase to the nearest dollar or commit a donation of their choice ($1, $5 and $10 in value) at check lanes across nearly 2,800 Kroger Family of Stores.
- Direct Giving (online): Customers can direct individual gifts in the amount of their choice to the Fund at ZeroHungerZeroWasteFoundation.org.
The Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation has committed more than $6 million to date to nonprofit partners addressing urgent Covid-19 response efforts, including:
- $3 million equally distributed between Feeding America and No Kid Hungry to rapidly deploy hunger-relief resources to food-insecure communities. The funding supports local food banks and initiatives to ensure children have access to meals even if schools are closed.
- $250,000 to Meals on Wheels America to support the immediate replenishment of shelf-stable and frozen meals, transportation and personnel costs incurred from the closure of senior center meal sites, telephone assurance and other tech-based programs to check in on isolated seniors and help them easily find local Meals on Wheels resources online, and continued education and public awareness to ensure continued emergency support for seniors.
- $250,000 to the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Covid-19 Regional Response Fund to help local agencies working with individuals and families.
- $200,000 to the Sunshine Division Emergency Food Box Program to increase its capacity to deliver meals to families affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Portland.
- $50,000 to help Benefits Data Trust (BDT) continue to remove barriers to benefits access through policy and practice change, data and technology, and direct service. BDT seeks to serve low-income families facing food insecurity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation also has accelerated funding to several social enterprises in its Innovation Fund portfolio, totaling nearly $400,000. These include:
- Food Forest (Cincinnati, Ohio): Funding supports Meals on Wheels online grocery delivery, a partnership between Food Forest and Produce Perks that provides free grocery delivery twice weekly for SNAP-eligible recipients. Through affordable delivery, the service ensures vulnerable seniors have access to fresh, nutritious food during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Imperfect Foods (San Francisco, California): The Foundation’s grant helps expand Imperfect Foods’ Reduced Cost Box Program. Based on income level and SNAP eligibility, Imperfect Foods offers a 33 percent discount on boxes of fresh produce and groceries delivered directly to homes. To protect seniors during the Covid-19 pandemic, Imperfect Foods is offering free delivery for lower-income seniors across the country to increase access to much-needed healthy food.
- Replate (Oakland, California): Replate works with longtime community partners to bring food to community members’ homes, prioritizing those who are vulnerable or unable to leave home safely at this time. This funding helps Replate expand its capacity to recover and redistribute food donated in select markets for families experiencing food insecurity.
- Ripe Revival (Greenville, North Carolina): During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ripe Revival is piloting a food delivery service and subscription-based seasonal solution product line sourced from local farmers. With this grant, Ripe Revival is adding new product lines to its current assortment, including shelf-stable pouches of soups, sauces, smoothies and meals.
- Seal the Seasons (Chapel Hill, North Carolina): This grant will help family farms in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest expand the locally grown frozen vegetable program that aims to increase economic opportunity for depressed rural communities, reduce vegetable food waste on farms due to lack of demand for fresh produce during the Covid-19 pandemic and provide more consumers with access to healthy, locally grown food.
Additionally, the Kroger Family of Cos. will begin accepting SNAP/EBT as a payment form for its pickup service, providing more customers with access to fresh, affordable food and essentials through e-commerce.