Interview – Kroger Zero Hunger Zero Waste

Kroger has been making headlines by demonstrating its leadership in and commitment to ending hunger and eliminating waste. Just last week, the company announced that it has started phasing out single-use plastic bags and will completely discontinue distributing plastic bags by 2025. This announcement complements Kroger’s other social and environmental actions already in place including donating millions of pounds of safe, surplus food to local food banks, reclaiming non-edible food through composting or anaerobic digesters, and operating many zero-waste manufacturing facilities. 

We were thrilled then when Kroger decided to become the Presenting Sponsor of the upcoming Make Food Not Waste event and are grateful that their internal commitment to eliminating waste extends to outside, local initiatives like ours.

We spoke with Rachel Hurst, Corporate Affairs Manager for Michigan, to hear her perspective on why Make Food Not Waste fits into Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste vision.

MFNW: Kroger has ambitious goals as part of its Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative. What part of the plan are you most excited about?

RH: We are excited about how we are helping to drive awareness of what is a reality in the communities we live and serve. Taking food that is wasted and fighting hunger is our goal!

Rachel Hurst, Kroger’s Corporate Affairs Manager for Michigan

MFNW: What are some of the other parts of the plan that you find innovative?

RH: Looking at our store operation and how we can be more sustainable, trying to divert more out of landfills. Last year we donated more than 5.2 million pounds of food to local food banks to feed hungry families.

MFNW: Why is it important to you to sponsor the Make Food Not Waste event?

RH: We believe in the mission and message behind Make Food Not Waste. Consumers can help in the effort to divert more from landfills and make additional meals with leftover resources. That is exactly our mission.

MFNW: What is your favorite way to cut down on waste in your own kitchen?

RH: I love taking what would be leftover and creating a new meal. It is fun being creative and I know that if my kids love it… it’s a win! I feel food about putting less into my trash can.

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