Food Waste Challenge

Open Opportunity


Dr. Constance Gewa

Grants Team

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This opportunity is now closed

About the Food Waste Challenge

Food waste represents not only the loss of nutrients but a waste of valuable resources, which puts significant strains on the environment, economy and society. While current efforts to address food waste is hampered by multiple obstacles to accurate measurement, it is estimated that over a third of U.S. food waste happens in households.

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), in collaboration with The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, is launching the Food Waste Challenge to develop an original, innovative methodology for regularly occurring quantitative measurement of food waste generated in U.S. households that stakeholders across the food system can use.

Food waste occurs for numerous reasons and at various levels throughout the food system, which makes tackling the problem especially challenging. FFAR will prioritize innovative projects that emphasize a commitment to the collaboration of researchers and practitioners across multiple sectors and disciplines.

The lessons learned in developing household-level measurements may inform food waste reduction efforts targeted towards other levels of the food system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

FFAR welcomes applications from U.S. institutions of higher education, non-profit and for-profit organizations, government-affiliated researchers and domestic and international organizations. Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support.

In keeping with FFAR goals to reach a diverse and broad range of institutions and individuals who participate in its programs, the following types of higher education institutions are encouraged to apply for FFAR programs:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • 1890s Land Grant Institutions and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions
What are the anticipated project duration, estimated number of awards and total amount available from FFAR?

Anticipated Project Duration: up to 18 months

Total Award Amount: up to $1 million per proposal

Estimated Number of Awards: Dependent on the budgets of proposals recommended for funding.

What should I include in my application?

Full Proposal

Required Elements

  • Project Title
    • Project Start and End Dates
    • Project Duration (in months)
    • Total Project Budget
    • Requested Budget
    • Budget Justification (up to 1,000 words)
    • Geographic Location (e.g., city, state, congressional district) where the research will be conducted
    • Key Personnel (name(s), affiliation, expertise, role on the project)
    • Abstract (up to 250 words)
    • Anticipated applicability/impacts of research results (up to 500 words)
    • Project Description (up to 4,000 words) Methodology for conducting landscape analysis of the currently available household food waste data and data sets (including data across different demographics), and food waste measurement methods.
    • Sources of information to be used in landscape analysis.
    • Description of the use of the FLW Protocol in developing food waste measurement methodology, including accounting and reporting structure.
    • Approach to setting criteria of a reliable and replicable quantitative measurement methodology for measuring household food waste use.
    • Approach to developing a new household food waste measurement methodology.
  • Type of data to be collected (e.g., amount of food wasted, reasons for waste, types of food, money [or % of purchases] spent on wasted food, waste destinations, edible and inedible parts, income and demographic/geographic information, units of measurements). Methodology will be assessed and prioritized based on the types of data it will be able to collect.
    • Approach to disaggregation between edible and inedible parts (e.g., direct measurement, estimates), including explaining what food parts are considered inedible.
    • Description of how methodology or results could be used to help quantify benefits of some interventions (e.g., shelf-life extension, improved packaging, better storage).
    • Plan for the pilot study to validate the food waste measurement method and its potential for scaling up.
  • Goals and Objectives by Year (up to 1,000 words)
  • Data management plan (including protection of private data and ability to integrate collected data into national data). (up to 500 words)
  • Project economic feasibility (up to 250 words)
  • Possible barriers to wide adoption of the proposed methodology and approaches for overcoming them (e.g., affordability, accessibility) (up to 250 words)
    • Institutional Support (up to 250 words)
  • Collaborating Organizations and their role on the project (up to 250 words)
    • Organizational Assurances



Required Attachments

  • Budget Spreadsheet
  • Current and Pending Support
  • Project Timeline
  • References Cited
  • Biosketches


Optional Attachments

  • Matching Funds Contribution Letters (if applicable)
  • Additional Key Personnel
  • Graphics, Figures, Equations and Tab
  • Letters of Support
How do I apply?

Proposals must be submitted by the deadline date through FFAR’s online application Grant Management System. Applications submitted outside of this System will not be considered.

To start a new application, please click here. If you are a new user, register for an account by clicking “Create Account” button located under the email address field on the left side of the home page. Once you log in, you may begin working on your application. Please be sure to save your work often by clicking on “Save and Finish Later.” To access a saved application, please do so through your Grant Management Account.

To be fair to all applicants, FFAR will not grant extensions to applicants who missed the deadlines posted in the Key Dates section.

Are matching funds required?

As Kroger Co. is providing matching funds, matching funds from applicants are optional for this opportunity.

Whom do I contact for further information or help?

You can review the Request for Applications here.

All scientific and grants questions must be emailed to

FFAR only accepts scientific, programmatic and grants inquiries by email. We strive to respond to inquiries within two business days, but our response time depends on the volume of questions we receive and the complexity of the questions asked. Please note that we do not monitor this mailbox on evenings, weekends or federal holidays.

Learn more about the Grant Aims to Reduce Food Waste

Grant Aims to Reduce Food Waste