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The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation is doubling down on its commitment to end hunger and food waste by launching an open call to its second innovation fund. Eligible innovators with ideas and solutions to prevent food waste can submit an application by April 1 for business support and funding totaling $2.5 million in collective grants.
Upcycled food is the next frontier in recovering and repurposing food that may otherwise go to landfills, encouraging the reintroduction and reuse of food items into the supply chain. Applicants can submit proposals that promote a business model that requires sourcing surplus food or food byproducts and manufacturing them into new consumer-facing products.
After this open call, the foundation — in collaboration with Village Capital, which helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale, and the fund’s advisory committee — will review the applications and select 10 startups. Each startup selected for the fund’s second cohort will receive $100,000 in upfront seed-grant funding, totaling an initial $1 million investment. Then the grantees will participate in a virtual workshop focused on investment readiness, technical skill development and networking with a community of investors and mentors in and around the food system. The second cohort will have exclusive access to the foundation and Village Capital’s leaders and partners, as well as the option to apply for follow-on funding.