Eighteen months ago, Kroger took a bold stand to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste in the company and launched Zero Hunger | Zero Waste. The plan led Kroger to debut in the sixth spot on Fortune magazine’s Change the World 2018 list.

The plan has seven goals:

  1. Establish a $10 million innovation fund.
  2. Accelerate food donations to give three billion meals by 2025. (Currently we donate one billion meals via combined food and funds donations.)
  3. Donate not just more food, more balanced meals.
  4. Advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and help communities prevent and divert waste from landfills.
  5. Achieve all Zero Waste 2020 goals outlined in the annual Kroger sustainability report, plus eliminate food waste by 2025 in all stores and across Kroger.
  6. Join forces with both new and longstanding partners.
  7. Transform communities and improve the health of millions of Americans by 2025.

While the work on some of these resides at Kroger headquarters in Cincinnati, Fry’s Food Stores plays an essential role keeping these goals moving forward.

Eliminating Hunger

Fry’s has a long history of donating food from all our stores to the Feeding America food banks in Arizona. With the launch of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, we are rescuing food from more departments including produce, dairy, bakery, deli and meat. In 2018, we had a 13.5% increase in the pounds of food rescued. We donated more than 9.4 million meals last year to help feed hungry Arizonans when combining food rescue and our financial support of food programs around the state.

Caring for the Environment

While some foods may not be edible for humans, there are programs where food waste is a great benefit. Fry’s participates in two innovative programs designed to repurpose food waste.

In partnership with the City of Tucson, inedible food waste from all Tucson-area Fry’s stores is sent to Compost Cats, a program under the University of Arizona’s Office of Sustainability, that turns biodegradable waste items into compost, a nutrient-rich soil amendment for gardens and fields.

In the Phoenix area, food waste is collected by Organix and sent to Stotz Dairy, where it is used to help feed their livestock.

Fry’s diverted 4.1 tons (8.2 million pounds) of food waste from landfills in 2018. This includes an increase in our recycling of cardboard (7.5%), plastics (17.8%) and food waste (15.8%).

Advocating for Solutions Fry’s is engaged at the state level, meeting with elected and appointed officials to share about our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative and efforts statewide. We also meet with organizations concerned with finding solutions to those facing food insecurity and presented at the Third Annual Arizona Food Summit in January hosted by the Department of Agriculture as part of Governor Ducey’s Happy, Healthy Citizens priority. Locally, we identify and support programs that promote food-to-table and sustainability efforts as well as feeding programs for all ages.

Posted by Danny Imes