Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Innovation Fund?

The Innovation Fund is a program of The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, a public charity focused on advancing our vision of a world with zero hunger and zero waste. We help drive collective action and positive change by supporting innovators and entrepreneurs who share our passion for preventing food waste and improving food security for all.

Why is Kroger doing this?

Kroger introduced Zero Hunger | Zero Waste to clarify the mission and focus of our commitment to drive positive social impact in our communities and in the food industry. One key element of our plan is the Innovation Fund, which is designed to find and support new ideas and creative solutions to our nation’s food waste problem.

Why focus on food waste?

According to ReFED, U.S. consumers, businesses, and farms spend $218 billion a year growing, processing, transporting and disposing food that is never eaten. The Innovation Fund aims to help fill the gap in funding needed to catalyze ideas and action to eliminate food waste.

Application Process

Letters of Intent

Applications for the Innovation Fund’s first open call are now closed.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

We encourage social enterprises, benefit corporations, for-profit companies, public-private partnerships, non-profit organizations and fiscally-sponsored projects. At this time, individuals, government agencies, international organizations and researchers are not eligible to apply.

How many Innovation Fund grants are available?

The inaugural open call will result in grants totaling $1 million for projects in the areas of food waste prevention, food recovery and/or food waste recycling. Awards will range from $25,000 to $250,000 per grantee.

What kind of non-financial support is provided?

As a grantee of the Innovation Fund, you will have a chance to connect with Kroger leaders and mentors, key partners in our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey, program peers and other industry stakeholders. Depending on your project, you may have a chance to test your solution in the Kroger Family of Companies or with our partners. We will also help highlight your work through case studies, showcases and promotional content to share your solution and impact.

How will you select the participants?

Companies interested in being considered should complete an online application here. We will evaluate applications using the Evaluation Criteria outlined on this website.

What type of applicants are most likely to be successful?

We are looking for organizations whose missions are intrinsically tied to Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan, specifically related to food waste reduction. This includes innovators needing support for early-stage concepts as well as scalable projects and technologies that advance a range of food waste prevention, recovery and recycling solutions outlined in ReFED’s 2018 Retail Food Waste Action Guide. Special attention will be given to solutions in the prevention category.

How will pilots be chosen?

We will award grants to U.S.-based organizations, with a preference for those based in Kroger communities or proposing projects that could benefit Kroger communities. Specific pilots will be determined based on project scope, potential for positive impact, ease of implementation and geography.

What if we are interested in funding but not a pilot?

Ideas and proposals do not need to include plans for a pilot to be considered for a grant from the Innovation Fund.

How will you select grantees?

In addition to the Foundation Board of Directors, its staff and the Advisory Council will help review and select final grantees.

When will you notify grantees receiving awards?

We will announce grant winners in May and disburse funds in June.

I still have a question—what do I do?

Please direct any questions via email to

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Stay Connected

Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan is our commitment to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste across our company by 2025. Join our email list for updates on Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey.