The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

Catalyze Your Potential to Drive Impact

In the U.S., 35% of food goes uneaten along the supply chain, generating the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as 58 million passenger vehicles driven for one year. The good news? Food waste is a solvable problem – but we need your help to do it.

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund is a new initiative that’s providing nonprofit and for-profit organizations with recoverable and non-recoverable grants to de-risk and scale high-impact solutions to food waste. Whether you’re a solution provider or a funder – there’s a way to get involved.

We know that catalytic funding is a critical lever in the fight against food waste, and the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund is designed to help organizations overcome system-level barriers, de-risk innovations, and solve agency problems – ultimately stimulating larger amounts of future funding from more traditional sources.

About the fund

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

Over its life, the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund and its grantees aim to have a significant impact on the diversion of food waste – resulting in the reduction of GHG emissions; the rescue of healthy, culturally-appropriate meals for those in need; and the saving of natural resources.

Ready to make an impact? Here's what you need to know...

The Grant Fund Aims
to Achieve $20M Grants over five years aiming to achieve

How The Fund Works

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund distributes recoverable and non-recoverable grants to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations across the food waste solution spectrum – from prevention to food recovery to recycling – and will consider initiatives including but not limited to research, general operations, building capacity, pilots, and convenings.

In addition to funding, we're supporting the grantees and applicants of the Catalytic Grant Fund whenever possible through activities such as:

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Featuring organizations actively fundraising in ReFED’s Deal Flow Report for the Food Waste Funder Circle

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Making tailored introductions to other solution providers and prospective partners

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Providing feedback and thought partnership on strategy, initiatives, pitch presentations, etc.

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Amplifying the work of organizations through ReFED’s channels, including social media, the Capital & Innovation Market Update newsletter, speaking engagements, and the Food Waste Action Network

Open Calls

Explore our grant funding opportunities. We encourage all types of organizations with an initiative related to the Catalytic Grant Fund’s current thematic focus area to apply for funding.

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Thematic Focus Area

Consumer Food Waste

As a group, consumers are the largest generators of food waste, but it's not always easy for them to change wasteful behaviors. This first Open Call is focused on solutions and innovations in need of funding that can enable consumers to actively reduce their food waste at home — as well as in restaurant and foodservice settings — by making it obvious, affordable, and convenient. To bolster these solutions, the Catalytic Grant Fund seeks to support initiatives at a local, regional, and/or national level that include but aren’t limited to:


Targeted research or projects that identify actionable interventions for reducing consumer waste


Testing ways to reduce post-consumer plate waste – including managing portion sizes, the number one food waste opportunity as measured by GHG emissions avoidance and net financial benefit – in a way that makes the solution financially viable for businesses while successfully reducing wasted food


Developing technologies, prototyping concepts, or enhancing existing solutions that simplify food waste prevention and food donation for consumers, while being broadly available and affordable


Offering recycling solutions that make food waste diversion from landfills simple, convenient, and accessible for individuals in a way that supports proper management of the end product

The ultimate goal behind this thematic focus area is to get consumers to take action. To that end, broad consumer food waste education and awareness campaigns will not be considered for funding.

Meet the Grantees for the Catalytic Grant Fund’s “Consumer Food Waste” Open Call.

Featured Grantees

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund provides recoverable and non-recoverable grants to nonprofit and for-profit organizations to help de-risk and scale high-impact solutions to food waste. We're proud to support the following grantees:

Transparent Path is working toward providing inventory traceability across the food supply chain through its existing platform and aims to develop a mobile app that builds consumer capacity to reduce food waste by giving them real-time information on freshness based on data and by reminding them to use purchased food before it spoils.

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Blue Earth Compost is bringing share tables paired with composting initiatives to Connecticut public schools combined with a food waste reduction classroom curriculum and toolkit to help others replicate the model elsewhere.

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Food Cycle Science Corporation (FCS) provides an at-home food waste recycling solution through its state-of-the-art countertop units, giving consumers a convenient, mess- and odor-free option for diverting their food waste from landfill and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. FCS is seeking to expand its municipality partnership model into the US, through which FCS helps communities save on waste management costs and reduce food waste and harmful emissions, while creating a nutrient-rich byproduct that can be incorporated into compost and soil.

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Food Shift is developing The Food Shift Kitchen Guide with the aim of maximizing food use for household budgets and shifting consumer mindsets and behaviors to reduce wasted food in homes, schools, restaurants, and grocery stores. 

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Food Recovery Network is a nonprofit growing their proven model of donation coordination and matching with a DEIJ lens.

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Growing Places Garden Project is developing a Fresh Chef Kit program and composting initiative to provide locally sourced and lightly processed produce to SNAP households in North Central Massachusetts by making the kits eligible for the local Healthy Incentive Program.

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Hidden Gems is a for-profit business which offers a solution to recycle the 800M pounds per year of nutrient-rich avocado pits that currently go into landfill.

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University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is conducting research to better understand the current level of household food waste reduction knowledge, incentives, and practices of consumers who participate in federally funded nutrition education programs in CA and develop and implement appropriate educational strategies to be shared through the National Extension Foundation with all land-grant universities in the U.S.

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Upcycled Food Association is a nonprofit focused on convening, connecting, and growing awareness of the power of upcycling to fight food waste.

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The Wisely system is a patent-pending smart food storage container that uses hardware, software, and sensors to track the time and conditions with which perishable foods are stored. The smart-enabled system is completed by an accompanying consumer smartphone app.

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Contribute to the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

We are deeply grateful to our anchor funder, Google, and all other donors who share our mission and vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive food system. If you would like to learn more about the Fund and discuss a contribution, please email Alexandria Coari at [email protected] or enter your information in the form below.

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Stay Updated On The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

We'll be sharing out regular updates on upcoming information sessions and open calls for grantees via email. To receive updates, please complete the form below. For media inquiries or general questions, please email us at [email protected]. Interested in contributing to the Catalytic Grant Fund? Please email Alexandria Coari at [email protected].

Sign Up to Receive Updates about The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund 

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