$74K in scholarships awarded from Kroger’s 2022 Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Challenge

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Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste impact plan has been helping people + our planet for 5 years. (Kroger)

The Kroger Foundation has officially announced the scholarship award recipients and winners of their Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Challenge in collaboration with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). Tuskegee University and Alabama A&M University are among the winning institutions. Read on to learn more about the challenge and how it changes students’ lives.

What is the challenge?

Made possible by the $1M Build it Together grant, awarded to TMCF from Kroger Foundation’s Racial Equity Fund, the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Challenge is in its second year. The grant supports TMCF’s effort to use innovation to focus on food insecurity and food waste.

The Innovation Challenge is a three-day in-person business pitch competition where students from Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) 1890 land-grant institutions team up and work together to design solutions for three challenges aligning with Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste mission.

“The talent and innovation from students in this annual pitch competition continues to amaze us. These bright students are the future of the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste promise, and we are so proud to collaborate with them and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to offer scholarships that drive our commitment to creating more equitable communities that are free of hunger and waste.”

Keith Dailey, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs and president of The Kroger Co. Foundation

Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitments aim to drive positive impacts for people and the environment by increasing access to fresh, affordable food; advancing sustainability by reducing emissions and food waste; and changing systems through strategic philanthropy and catalyzing innovation.

Meet the winners

Congratulations are in order for these winning teams of talented students, which all received $15K in project development funds for their institution. Overall, $74K in scholarships were awarded in addition to tech prizes.

First Place

University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Tuskegee University tied with each team member awarded $7,500.

  • University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Team Members: Perry Williams, Larry Culclager, L’Kenna Whitehead, Charlese De-Anna Colen and Jvon Allen.
  • Case Study: How can Kroger encourage, motivate, incentivize or reward its customers to reduce household food waste?
  • Tuskegee University Team Members: Olivia Bowles, Chera Howard, Maxwell Saine, Hali Braynon and Carmen McMeans.
  • Case Study: Provide a sustainable solution that will help eliminate food or operational waste in Kroger’s supply chain.

Second Place

Southern University with each team member awarded $5,000.

  • Team Members: Rashard Grace, Ahlayna Calhoun, Faith Woods, Nalone Sumo, Frankie Dorsey and Robert Easly (faculty).
  • Case Study: What can Kroger do to encourage healthier choices and be a leader in the Food as Medicine concept?

Third Place

MetaVerse Scholars with each team member awarded $2,500.

  • Team Members: Anita Bozhko, Alabama A&M University; Samuel Dixon, North Carolina A&T State University; Obieze Udemadu, North Carolina A&T State University; Adeleye Mesogboriwon, Edward Waters College; and Mitrick (TJ) Johnson, Alabama A&M University.
  • Alternates: Kashif Alston, Bluefield State College and Dailynn Thomas, Southern University A&M College.
  • Case Study: What can Kroger do to encourage healthier choices and be a leader in the Food as Medicine concept?

Most Outstanding Players

These students were awarded $1,000 each for their outstanding performance:

  • Edwin Crittendon II, Prairie View A&M University
  • Sherman Cravens, Langston University
  • Kashif Alston, Bluefield State.

“These amazing students work together to solve real-world challenges. They never cease to impress us with their ingenuity and initiative. We’re proud to once again be part of this program, amplifying incredible, untapped talent.”

Dr. Harry L. Williams, President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Learn more about The Kroger Co. Foundation here.

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Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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