The holiday season in 2020 was unlike any other, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting people's lives in numerous ways. One of the most pressing issues during this time was the growing hunger gap in the United States. Lockdowns, job losses, and downsizing due to the pandemic led to an increase in the number of Americans in need. In response to these challenges, The Kroger Co. has been taking significant steps to give back to its communities while also being mindful of the environment. Keith Dailey, the Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Kroger, sheds light on the company's initiatives aimed at creating a better future for customers, associates, and the world as a whole.
In the United States, a staggering 40 percent of the food produced goes to waste, while 1 in 9 Americans faces hunger daily. To address this paradox, Kroger launched its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative in 2017. This initiative has not only garnered attention but also set an example for other companies in the industry. Kroger has committed itself to reducing food waste and alleviating hunger in the communities it serves.
As consumers increasingly seek brands that contribute positively to society and the environment, Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative stands out as a beacon of hope. In 2019, the company achieved a significant milestone by surpassing its three-year goal to donate one billion meals by 2020. This achievement has put Kroger on track to reach its ambitious target of donating three billion meals by 2025, making a substantial impact on the fight against hunger.
A key component of Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative is its food rescue program. The program starts with Kroger's dedicated in-store associates, who identify healthy, edible items that are nearing their expiration dates. Even select non-perishable items are carefully selected for redistribution where needed. By partnering with organizations like Feeding America® food banks and other allies, Kroger ensures that these rescued products reach the hands of those who need them the most. In the previous year alone, Kroger successfully rescued and donated a staggering 101 million pounds of safe, surplus food from its retail stores, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants.
As the holiday season and beyond unfold, Kroger's commitment to addressing hunger and reducing food waste remains steadfast. To learn more about Kroger's inspiring initiatives and discover ways in which you can contribute to your community during these challenging times, be sure to listen to the full podcast featuring Keith Dailey. Together, we can make a meaningful difference and create a better future for all.
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