The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has upended our food system, resulting in a surge of on-farm food loss, food business closures, and a skyrocketing number of food insecure individuals. In response to these challenges, we ReFED has launched the COVID-19 Food Waste Solutions Fund to quickly deliver vital funding to organizations that can rescue food before it is wasted and get it to those who need it so urgently.

ReFED has started to grant $1 million to a portfolio of organizations that will — in the next 90 days —  prevent more than 10 million pounds of food or 8.3 million meals from being wasted. In order to complement other relief efforts, the ReFED COVID-19 Food Waste Solutions Fund is focused on funding mid-sized for-profit and nonprofit organizations rescuing fresh, healthy food. These organizations will make an immediate impact, but we expect they will also lead to long-term solutions of systemic issues.

ReFED is extremely excited that the Fund’s first set of grants is already out the door, helping four organizations on the front-lines of COVID-19 to scale their impact immediately:

  • Forager: Enables a digital community of farmers, producers, grocers, restaurants, and consumers. Over the next 90 days, they will expand the reach of the tech platform to 10 states.
  • SeaShare: Sources and processes high quality, donated seafood and has distributed over 3.5 million servings to Feeding America food banks over the past two months.
  • Boston Area Gleaners: Rescues surplus farm crops for people in need. They are scaling cold-storage and repacking facilities and expanding the geographic reach of produce sourcing in light of COVID-19.
  • Food Rescue US: Operates a technology-based last-mile meal prep operation. In response to COVID-19, they launched Restaurant Meal Programs and Community Kitchen, a collaboration with World Central Kitchen.

The ReFED COVID-19 Food Waste Solutions Fund will make grants to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations with scalable solutions.

  • Funding To Scale-Up: $50,000 on average in non-recoverable grants will be provided to each awardee.
  • Application Process: Submissions will be evaluated on a rolling basis using a robust set of eligibility and evaluation criteria.
  • Awardee Selection: Awards will be determined by ReFED and selected from a pipeline of high-impact organizations sourced through a national open call for COVID-19 food waste solutions.
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