Consumer Food Waste

Past Open Call

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 Grantee Cohort

We’re thrilled to be supporting this portfolio of top-notch organizations with great potential to create sustainable change in the food system. The work being supported includes testing new business models, expanding to new markets and geographies, researching and testing new food waste solutions, and more.

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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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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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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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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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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ReFED is also pleased to highlight the important work of 15 organizations that were runners-up in this highly competitive open call process.

4MyCity is a nonprofit seeking to provide all Baltimore residents with free access to compost pick-up services, through a system of in-vessel composting sites positioned around the city and an additional partnership with DoorDash; they are launching their “Compost to Go” services as a paired offering for their existing “Food Rescue to Go” program that currently serves 2,600 people.

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Appetite For Change is a nonprofit growing their Community Cooks Meal Boxes, a meal delivery program designed to meet the needs of food-insecure families in North Minneapolis by providing a culturally appropriate, dignified food experience, highlighting fresh, local produce, including recipe cards, educational information and cooking support that guides families through simple preparations and food skill development, to help them avoid waste.

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Californians Against Waste Foundation is a nonprofit working to enact uniform expiration date labels in California and to conduct research on the implementation rates of existing industry commitments, in order to enable consumer education and action.

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The Consumption Literacy Project is a nonprofit growing its interactive, and student-centered community education and composting initiative, Nearly Zero Project© to more schools as well as households and businesses in Denver and beyond.

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Flashfood is a for-profit that offers a mobile application connecting consumers with discounted food nearing its best-by date in retail settings and is expanding their payment method to include SNAP EBT.

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Food for Free is a nonprofit growing their Heats-N-Eats program, which takes prepared food from corporate, university, and hospital dining services in the Boston area and turns it into balanced, single-serving meals that they distribute to food-insecure populations, providing access to nutritious food while reducing waste.

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Galley Solutions is a for-profit looking to facilitate direct feedback loops from consumers to foodservice teams to support them in reducing plate waste and overproduction by providing insight into their customers preferences.

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As part of Georgetown University’s Business for Impact Initiative within the McDonough Schoolof Business, the Portion Balance Coalition (PBC) is a multi-sector collaborative that creates,fosters and amplifies cross-sector actions for healthier eating by focusing on portion balance --defined as a mix of volume, proportionality, and quality. PBC collaborators come togetherto identify, co-create, and implement demand- and supply-side innovations in support of abalanced, healthy lifestyle.

As a premier neutral convener, the Portion Balance Coalition conducts proprietary research anddistributes public education campaign materials to drive impact by informing actions offood/beverage manufacturers, multi-sector collaborators, and consumers. The Portion Balance Coalition strives to clarify in consumers’ minds that portions is a key driver in the reduction offood waste as well as overeating, through its proprietary research and public educationcampaign materials.

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KitchIntentional is a for-profit that offers a mobile application - Stash: Meal Planner - that is designed to reduce food waste and decrease grocery spending by matching the food available, with whole meals that can be made with it.

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Partnership for a Healthier America is a nonprofit that is looking to reduce food waste at the household level of its end recipients by enabling user-choice in its Good Food for All program through a partnership with Instacart.

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Ryp Labs is a for-profit seeking to develop a consumer-facing application of their natural and safe formulation that can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including stickers, to increase shelf-life of produce.

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The Senator George Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions is an academic institution that aims to reduce food waste in elementary school cafeteria settings through its Maine School Cafeteria Food Waste Research Project.

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Stanford University is an academic institution conducting research to identify interventions that will increase campus cafeteria diners’ awareness and monitoring of plate waste in partnership with Winnow.

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Wedontwaste, Inc. is a nonprofit partnering with Denver Public Schools to identify and implement effective actions to reduce wasted food in school settings.

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World Resources Institute is a nonprofit that is working to identify and test scalable behavior change interventions at the consumer-retailer nexus to prevent household food waste.

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Contribute to the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

We are deeply grateful to our funder partners who make the Catalytic Grant Fund possible, sharing our mission and vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive food system.

Learn more about how you can be part of this initiative by contacting Alexandria Coari, ReFED’s VP of Capital, Innovation, and Engagement at [email protected].

Anchoring Investors
Partnering Investors

Meet the Current Independent Review Committee

Charles Allison

Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Finance, The Milano School of Policy, Management, & Environment, The New School

Kelly Bryan

US Regional Director, Village Capital

Nick Budden

Founder & Innovation Strategist, Flavor Forward Strategy (Previously Yum! Brands)

Andrea Collins

Sustainable Food Systems Specialist, Natural Resources Defense Council

Einav Gefen

SVP Chef Innovator, Restaurant Associates

Justin Kamine

Co-Founder, Do Good Foods

Rene Lion

Senior Consumer Scientist, Unilever

Anthony Myint

Co-Founder, Zero Foodprint and Mission Chinese Food

Natalia Paine

Senior program Marketing Manager, Climate Culture, RARE

Jenny Roberts

Director of Procurement & Sustainability, CAVA

Brian Roe

Professor, Dept. of Agricultural, Environmental & Developmental Economics, Ohio State University

David T. Tswamuno

Managing Partner, Fairbridge Park

Matt Wampler

CEO & Co-Founder, ClearCOGS

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Nominate someone for the independent review committee

The Independent Review Committee is a highly valued group of leaders and experts coming from a variety of backgrounds; tailored for each open call, it serves as an integral part of the broader team managing the Catalytic Grant Fund by contributing to the overall grantee selection process. If you are interested in participating as an Independent Reviewer or know of someone that you’d like to nominate for the Committee, please contact Angel Veza at [email protected].

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].

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