As part of its commitment to creating healthier communities free of hunger and waste, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation has directed a $50,000 grant to Brighter Bites to support expanding access to fresh produce and nutrition education in undeserved communities across the US. The grant will support Brighter Bites’ program implementation nationwide, as well as program expansion in two Kroger communities: Houston and Dallas.
“Brighter Bites is thankful to The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation for its generous support and commitment to addressing the relationship between food insecurity and waste in our communities,” said Brighter Bites CEO Rich Dachman. “Through this partnership, Brighter Bites will be able to redirect more produce into the hands of those that need it—mitigating food waste while feeding and teaching healthier habits to the families we serve.”
While an estimated 10 percent of the US population has poor access to fresh foods, 40 percent of the US supply chain of fruits and vegetables goes to waste every year, costing $218 billion annually to grow, process, transport and dispose of food that is never eaten.
Embedded within the Brighter Bites formula is the implicit mitigation of food waste. By increasing the recovery of produce from growers, distribution and food banks as well as reducing food waste at the consumer level by teaching families how to use it. Brighter Bites is working to convert food waste into a public health opportunity.
“The foundation is excited to partner with Brighter Bites to expand their program,” said Sunny Reelhorn Parr, Executive Director of The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation. “We celebrate their dedication to education and outreach efforts, and we look forward to working with their innovative team to help achieve our mission of creating communities free of hunger and waste.”
Brighter Bites’ partnership with the foundation will also include volunteer support from Kroger associates and Brighter Bites program sites in Houston and Dallas. This school year, the organization is projects to enroll more than 30,000 children and their families across 133 schools and 48 summer camps in eight cities.