Kroger Announces Second Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund Call for Projects

Kroger Zero Hunger Zero Waste Innovation Fund logo

The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation has announced the 2021 call for applications for its Innovation Fund:

“We encourage applications from innovators building high-growth, scalable solutions focused on the following challenge:

We seek to reshape the food system by supporting innovators who are elevating food to its highest use and disrupting the linear supply chain. This could include solutions such as imperfect produce lines, upcycled foods & meal kits, upcycled commercial ingredients and more.”

From applications received, 10 startups will be chosen as the 2021 cohort. Each cohort startup will receive $100,000 in seed funding with an additional $100,000 of grant funding available to each cohort startup based on their achievement of identified milestones. Cohort startups will receive 30+ hours of virtual technical and business mentorship, and at the end of the six-month milestone development period, two of the startups will be selected by their peers for the opportunity to receive impact investments of $250,000.

Applications are due April 1. See for complete details and to apply.

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The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger, Zero Waste Foundation Announces Open Call


Upcoming Webinars: ReFED to Launch Insights Engine and Roadmap to 2030

ReFED, a multi-stakeholder nonprofit organization which takes a data-driven approach to formulating and advocating for food waste solutions in the US, will be introducing new resources and data during a series of webinars next week.

The same presentation will be given on February 2, 3, and 4, 2021, at 12:00 Central Time. You may register to attend one of these presentations at

According to ReFed:

“We’re introducing two new resources that can help the food system cut food waste in half by the year 2030 – plus we’ll be releasing new data showing the extent and impact of food waste in the U.S. over the last ten years.

ReFED’s Roadmap to 2030: Reducing U.S. Food Waste by 50% looks at the entire food supply chain and identifies seven key action areas for the food system to focus its food waste reduction efforts. It also includes a detailed financial analysis to help direct the private, public, and philanthropic capital investments needed to fund them.

Our Insights Engine is an online hub for data and solutions that can help you bring a food waste reduction initiative to life, including:

– A granular analysis of food waste by sector, state, food type, cause, and impact built from more than 50 public and proprietary datasets;

– A detailed cost-benefit analysis of more than 40 food waste reduction solutions; and

– A directory of more than 700 organizations ready to partner on food waste reduction initiatives.

Food waste is a solvable problem. Join us in February to jumpstart your food waste reduction efforts – and help achieve our 2030 reduction goal.”

Register at

Learn More

ReFed: The Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste

ReFed: Food Waste Solutions


Coffee Grounds: Diversion to Biofuel Feedstock

Most food service operations produce some amount of spent coffee grounds. Even in K-12 schools, cafeterias, staff lounges, and administrative offices often serve coffee for the adults on site. I intend to write posts in the near future about some of the more traditional ways to divert spent coffee grounds from landfill (e.g. composting, use as a substrate for growing mushrooms, etc.). But a recent news article has prompted me to highlight a diversion strategy for this material which you may not have considered: feedstock for the production of biofuels.

You may be familiar with using spent cooking oil or grease for the creation of biodiesel. See the archived activity on diversion of waste cooking oil for biodiesel creation for more information. Coffee grounds also contain oils that can be useful in creating biofuels. As reported in the May 10, 2017 issue of Science Daily, a group of researchers from Lancaster University in the UK recently found a way to improve the efficiency of converting coffee grounds to biofuel. Their methods reduced the time required for the process, as well as the amount of chemicals used and chemical waste produced. According to the article: ‘”Our method vastly reduces the time and cost needed to extract the oils for biofuel making spent coffee grounds a much more commercially competitive source of fuel,” said Dr Najdanovic-Visak, Lecturer in Lancaster University’s Engineering Department. “A huge amount of spent coffee grounds, which are currently just being dumped in landfill, could now be used to bring significant environmental benefits over diesel from fossil fuel sources.” The process has the potential to enable 720,000 tonnes of biodiesel to be produced each year from spent coffee grounds.’

On October 2, 2018, Ohio-based Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee at Home introduced a “tiny home” in New York City’s Madison Square Park which is powered by biofuel created from spent coffee grounds. The biofeul is a custom B80 blend created by Blue Marble Biomaterials–80% of the fuel is oil from Dunkin’ coffee grounds and 20% is alcohol to allow the fuel to burn efficiently. The “Home that Runs on Dunkin'” will be open to the public in Madison Square Park in New York City, on Broadway between 23rd and 24th Streets from Thursday, October 4 through Saturday, October 6.  If you’re curious but not in NYC, check out the 360 video tour available at According to that site, “Every 170 pounds of spent coffee grounds yields about one gallon of fuel and is used in a standard biofuel generator.” The site also states that 65,000 pounds of spent Dunkin’ coffee grounds were used to create the biofuel.

Image of a tiny house with a very modern aesthetic, located in a green field surrounded by trees.
The Home that Runs on Dunkin’. From

Blue Marble Biomaterials is based in Missoula, MT. Learn more about them at

Of course, this particular solution isn’t practical for small generators such as a single school, restaurant, or hospital. But restaurant and hotel chains or large institutions, particularly those in areas where on-site composting is infeasible and where commercial composting service is not available, might be interested in exploring the possibility of partnering with a biofuel producer to divert coffee grounds from landfill. To assist in such investigations, see the National Biodiesel Board’s map of member plants at You could also reach out to colleges and universities in your area to see if scientists on campus are conducting biofuel research and might be interested in using your spent grounds as feedstock in their experiments.