CINCINNATI, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced its latest results and achievements for Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, the company's bold social impact plan aimed at creating communities free of hunger and waste.
"Zero Hunger | Zero Waste addresses the disparity between hunger and food waste in America, a mission that has never been more relevant," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We are pleased with our progress so far, but also recognize the monumental task still at hand. Kroger is determined to do even more to help our neighbors and communities secure a healthier, brighter future."
Through leadership, engagement and commitment, Kroger continues to meaningfully give back on its journey to achieve a future with Zero Hunger | Zero Waste. Notable 2019 milestones include:
Kroger surpassed its three-year goal to donate 1 billion meals by 2020, putting the retailer on track to achieve its goal of donating 3 billion meals by 2025.
Kroger directed a total of $279 million in charitable giving to its communities in 2019, including $205 million to organizations that are helping to end hunger.
Kroger provided a total of 493 million meals—in food and funds—to its communities across the country, a 56% increase from 2018.
Kroger donated 101 million pounds of safe, surplus food from its retail stores, distribution centers and manufacturing plants to Feeding America® food banks.
Kroger accomplished 80% waste diversion, redirecting 2.3 million tons from landfills across its 35-state and Washington, D.C. footprint.
Kroger increased year-over-year food waste tonnage recycled by 28%.
Kroger achieved Zero Waste operations in 33 of its 35 manufacturing plants.
Kroger increased total recycling by 12%.
Kroger completed its plan to standardize date labels for Our Brands food products, providing simpler, easier-to-understand labels that result in less household food waste.
The Innovation Fund, a program of The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, awarded $1 million to its inaugural cohort, advancing collective action to prevent food waste and improve food security in Kroger communities.
Kroger expanded its partnership with Apeel Sciences, preventing food waste by offering Apeel's longer-lasting avocados at more than 1,100 Kroger stores across the country.
"Creating communities free of hunger and waste is no small undertaking, and we continue to be inspired by our associates who are leading the way toward achieving our shared Zero Hunger | Zero Waste vision," added McMullen. "Today, we are proud to recognize our 'Zero Heroes' for uplifting our communities by committing an additional $50,000 in grants to community organizations of their choosing to support our mission."
Kroger's 2019 Zero Heroes include:
Our Promise Team
Jesse Pomeranz Graves
Adam Young, Connie
Helmers, Sarah Golden,
Amelia Geiser, Naomi
Bluesummers and Jess
Corporate Food Technology
"While we're incredibly proud of our 2019 results, we recognize that the needs of our communities and nonprofit partners have shifted dramatically in the past few months," said Keith Dailey, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs. "We're currently focused on eliminating the additional strain that COVID-19 has created for families struggling with unemployment and food insecurity, and we encourage our customers, partners and other businesses to join us on this urgent mission."
Ways Kroger is combating food insecurity in response to COVID-19:
Activated The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation's Emergency COVID-19 Response Fund to help families disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. To-date, Kroger and the Foundation have committed more than $8 million to nonprofit organizations addressing urgent COVID-19 response efforts.
Accelerated additional grant funding to several social enterprises in The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation's Innovation Fund portfolio that are helping recover and redistribute food, totaling nearly $400,000.
Offering customers new ways to meaningfully give back through charitable giving platforms online, via Kroger Pickup orders and at check lanes across nearly 2,800 Kroger Family of Stores.
Expanding its Dairy Rescue Program to support children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic through the summer months.
About The Kroger Co. At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
About The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation (the "Foundation") is a 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 2018. The Foundation was formed to support initiatives that create communities free of hunger and waste.