In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation quickly established an Emergency COVID-19 Response Fund. We directed an initial $3 million in grants to help national partners Feeding America and No Kid Hungry provide food for individuals, students and families whose lives were disrupted by stay-at-home orders.
We quickly followed our initial commitment with additional grants for COVID-19 relief—totaling more than $5 million—to support partners and organizations across the country working to rapidly deploy food and funds to families disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This included $400,000 in grants to select Innovation Fund portfolio companies to help scale solutions to recover and redistribute more surplus food.
In partnership with the Kroger Family of Companies, we also activated a six-week public fundraising campaign for our Emergency COVID-19 Response Fund, raising $1.5 million in donations from generous Kroger customers. 100% of this funding has been deployed to local and regional organizations to help communities recover, including:
Featured Grant Recipient: Feeding America and No Kid Hungry
The Foundation’s $3 million grant was equally distributed between Feeding America and No Kid Hungry to rapidly deploy hunger-relief resources to food-insecure communities. Funding supported local food banks and initiatives to ensure children have access to meals even if schools are closed.
Featured Grant Recipient: Meals on Wheels
The Foundation’s $250,000 grant supported the immediate replenishment of shelf-stable and frozen meals, transportation, tech-based programs to check in on isolated seniors and more. The grant also helped fund continued education and public awareness efforts to ensure ongoing emergency support for seniors.
Featured Grant Recipient: Greater Cincinnati Foundation
The Foundation’s $250,000 grant helped the Greater Cincinnati Foundation's COVID-19 Regional Response Fund support local agencies working with individuals and families impacted by the pandemic.
Featured Grant Recipient: Sunshine Division Emergency Food Box Program
The $200,000 Foundation grant helped the Sunshine Division Emergency Food Box program increase its capacity to deliver meals to families affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the Portland area.
Featured Grant Recipient: Food Forest
Follow-on funding to this Innovation Fund recipient supports Meals on Wheels online grocery delivery, a partnership between Food Forest and Produce Perks that provides free grocery delivery twice weekly for SNAP-eligible recipients.
Featured Grant Recipient: Imperfect Foods
Follow-on funding to this Innovation Fund recipient helps expand Imperfect Foods' Reduced Cost Box Program. To protect seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Imperfect Foods is offering free delivery for lower-income seniors across the country to increase access to much-needed healthy food.
Featured Grant Recipient: Replate
Follow-on funding helped this Innovation Fund recipient expand its capacity to recover and redistribute food donated in select markets for families experiencing food insecurity.
Featured Grant Recipient: Ripe Revival
Follow-on funding to this Innovation Fund recipient helped Ripe Revival pilot a food delivery service and subscription-based seasonal solution product line sourced from local farmers. With support from the Foundation, Ripe Revival is adding new product lines to its current assortment, including shelf-stable pouches of soups, sauces, smoothies and meals.
Featured Grant Recipient: Seal the Seasons
Follow-on funding to this Innovation Fund recipient helped family farms in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest expand Seal the Seasons’ locally grown frozen produce program that aims to reduce food waste on farms due to lack of demand for fresh produce during the COVID-19 pandemic.