ReFED Launches Nonprofit Accelerator, Funded by Walmart Foundation, to Double U.S. Food Donations
Published June 11, 2019
Open Call for Applications starts today for the three-month Accelerator that will offer $350,000 in prizes and extensive access to ReFED’s expert network.
San Francisco, CA (June 11, 2019) – Today, ReFED, a multi-stakeholder think tank committed to food waste reduction, announced an open call for applications to its Nonprofit Food Recovery Accelerator. Generously supported by the Walmart Foundation and in partnership with +Acumen, the Accelerator aims to catalyze ideas and inspire actions that will lead to a doubling of healthy food available to the 40 million Americans facing food insecurity. Eligible innovators are invited to apply by July 10, 2019.
“One of the great failures of our food system is that up to forty percent of food is wasted from farm to fork while 40 million Americans are food insecure,” said Chris Cochran, Executive Director, ReFED . “The food recovery sector is currently capturing less than five percent of the 36 million tons of food lost in the value chain, yet there are cost-effective, scalable solutions available today to more than double meals recovered and delivered to our food insecure neighbors. To get there, we need systems-level change. ReFED is at the forefront of generating insights and advancing solutions for an efficient and equitable food system, and we’re excited to accelerate the knowledge, network and capital of nonprofit food recovery organizations around the U.S.”
The Walmart Foundation funds the food recovery space with an eye towards fighting both food waste and hunger. +Acumen brings extensive expertise to the nonprofit accelerator space and will power the virtual curriculum. “Partnering with ReFED offers a unique opportunity to bring the experience we’ve built working with nonprofits to develop earned revenue ventures to their work in the food recovery sector. We’re excited to help amplify the impact of food recovery nonprofits, which play a critical role in preventing food insecurity and tackling issues of poverty in the US,” said Jo-Ann Tan, Director, +Acumen.
“Historically, recovery efforts have largely been led by nonprofit organizations dependent on philanthropic funding, physical infrastructure and volunteer labor,” said Alexandria Coari, Director of Capital & Innovation at ReFED. “However, there is an enormous opportunity for recovery organizations to deliver more food at scale and become operationally sustainable by developing earned revenue models and adopting innovative technology solutions that are human-centered in their approach.”
Ten nonprofit food recovery organizations will be selected to participate in the Accelerator and each will be provided $25,000 and a stipend to cover travel expenses, plus an additional $100,000 awarded to the selected winner(s). The Accelerator’s curriculum will combine a virtual classroom with in-person ReFED Learning Labs that focus on leveraging earned revenue models, technology solutions and human-centered design. Innovators will receive the tools, training and mentorship necessary to drive measurable impact, gain access to a broad network of industry experts and connect with potential strategic partners and sources of capital.
Additionally, ReFED has assembled a world-class group of food business and technology executives, capital providers and subject matter experts who will serve as the Accelerator’s Expert Network.
This group includes individuals from:
- Baldor Specialty Foods
- Blue Apron
- ClimateWorks Foundation
- Closed Loop Partners
- Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
- Feeding America
- General Mills Foundation
- Spoiler Alert
- The Ajana Foundation
- The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation
- The Wonderful Company
- Village Capital
- Wells Fargo
- World Wildlife Fund
The three-month Accelerator will kick off in September 2019. For more information or to apply, visit www.refed.com/2019accelerator or sign-up to attend our virtual informational session on June 25, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. PDT.
ReFED is a think tank that works with decision-makers across the food system to reduce U.S. food waste using a systems approach and economic analysis. As the only U.S. nonprofit wholly dedicated to reducing food waste, it is ReFED’s vision to eliminate food waste in order to increase food security, spur economic growth and protect the environment. For more information, visit www.refed.com. For access to ReFED's Innovator Database, which tracks 500 innovators, including more than 100 recovery innovators in the U.S., visit refed.com/innovators.
+Acumen is a university, reimagined. Since 2012, Acumen has trained over 500 leaders through in-person leadership development programs. +Acumen offers an online learning platform to accelerate and amplify the impact of social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs globally. +Acumen’s online accelerators guide select cohorts of innovators through structured programs to develop new initiatives on a rapid timeline. These programs reach over 450,000 people in 190+ countries around the world.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, we work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or find us on Twitter @Walmartorg.
Contact: Melody Serafino, [email protected]