As much as 40 percent of all the food grown and produced in America goes to waste ― a tragic statistic, especially since so many Americans still go hungry.
Some of the most innovative solutions for reducing this waste could save us a ton of money and resources in the long run ― but, ironically, they’ve been held up due to funding issues in the short run.
That’s why the Closed Loop Foundation, the charitable arm of the Closed Loop Fund for impact investment, just launched the Food Waste Innovation & Solution Search for projects that address America’s food waste crisis.
“One of the major impediments in the food waste crisis is capital,” Michelle Lapinski of the Closed Loop Fund told The Huffington Post. “This search will not only fund actual solutions, it will also send a public signal that there is a market for this kind of enterprise.”
Individuals or groups with food waste ideas can submit proposals on the Fund’s website until Aug. 12 to receive loans or grants of $25,000 - $50,000. The Fund typically awards no-interest loans to cities and municipalities and low-interest loans to businesses, according to Lapinski.
The initial funding for this program comes from the Walmart Foundation, and Lapinski said the Fund plans to add at least one more sponsor by fall 2016.
Walmart, the largest grocer in the U.S., has come under criticism this year for not doing enough to sell imperfect produce. Activists argue that by rejecting wonky fruits and vegetables, retailers contribute to the food waste crisis. For its part, Walmart does have programs to sell ugly produce in the U.K. and U.S., although the efforts are relatively small compared to the overall size of Walmart’s retail operation.
The Closed Loop Fund has made four other investments: a plastic recovery facility in Baltimore and single-stream recycling facilities in Quad Cities, Iowa, Portage County, Ohio, and Memphis, Tennessee.
The Closed Loop Foundation will announce the winners in November 2016.
Language in the petition embedded in this entry has been updated to reflect Walmart’s recent efforts to sell some “ugly” produce in the U.S.
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