The Walmart Foundation has announced that it is making $1.87 million CAD ($1.5 million USD) available to fund proposals from eligible non-profit organizations working to reduce food waste in Canada. The Walmart Foundation is seeking proposals from qualified organizations that have experience in formulating, proposing, and implementing food waste reduction efforts. Requests between $250,000 and $1,000,000 (USD) will be considered.
The announcement builds on the retailer's commitment to reduce waste in its own operations and achieve zero waste in key markets, including Canada, by 2025. According to Walmart's Global Responsibility Report, the retailer has diverted 77% of waste from unsold food, other unsold products, and materials from landfill through a variety of initiatives including food donations, repurposing products, and composting. In Canada, Walmart diverts 81 per cent of its operational waste through programs which divert more than a dozen waste streams from landfill.
"Reducing food waste benefits communities by sending less food to landfills, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the resources required to meet food demand, and enhancing food security," said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and president of the Walmart Foundation. "Canadian organizations are doing tremendous work in this arena, and we are excited to provide additional support. Our goal is to fund innovation in communities, and help the best projects expand. Ultimately, we hope these grants, combined with our efforts to reduce food waste in our own stores and strengthen the charitable meal system, will make a meaningful contribution to reducing food waste in Canada."
Food waste is an urgent global issue, with substantial repercussions in terms of both food security and the environment. The United Nations Environment Programme reports that roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. In Canada, the cost of food waste was identified as $31 billion in 2014, according to a report from Value Chain Management International, up 15 per cent from 2010.
About the Grants
This funding seeks to support promising programs that have the potential to significantly reduce food waste and loss - with the ultimate goals of preventing loss, maximizing donations of usable food, and minimizing food waste that ends up in landfills. Applications will be considered in three areas:
Addressing food loss and waste from farm to consumer, such as increasing knowledge of the causes of food loss on farms or during processing;
Building capacity in the charitable food system, such as increasing the ability to recover and distribute food to people in need, specifically in rural areas and for under-served populations; And optimizing and/or developing organic recycling solutions, such as advancing innovations and programs that improve organic recycling
Walmart's Food Waste EffortsWalmart is working to achieve zero waste across its operations in key markets - including Canada - by 2025. Walmart Canada's commitment to reducing food waste includes selling food that is nearing its best before date at a discounted price as part of a Customer Value Program. The retailer has also donated more than five million pounds of food to food banks across the country through a comprehensive food diversion program which pairs Walmart Canada stores with a local food bank and ensures good food is donated to those who need it most, aligning with Walmart's commitment to provide 4 billion meals globally. Today, 244 of Walmart Canada's stores send organic waste for composting or anaerobic digestion so it doesn't end up in municipal landfill. Walmart also continues to work with suppliers to improve packaging and food handling processes to maintain quality and freshness