Who We Are
We’re a national nonprofit dedicated to ending food waste across the food system.
ReFED is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending food loss and waste across the U.S. food system by advancing data-driven solutions.
With our holistic view of the food system, we’re working to achieve a 50% food waste reduction in accordance with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – and we do it with purposeful action. Action that’s driven by solutions to specific challenges. That’s grounded in data. That’s targeted to where it can benefit the most. That’s coordinated across multiple stakeholders and evaluated to ensure success.
It’s action that can solve the food waste crisis.
We believe it's possible. And purposeful action will get us there.
Our Work Focuses include:
Data & Insights
Leveraging data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunitiesLearn More
Capital & Innovation
Catalyzing capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiativesLearn More
Mobilizing and connecting people to take targeted actionLearn More
A sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.
Our values ground our decision-making, root our actions in a shared purpose greater than ourselves, and are a cornerstone of our vision of a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that preserves the well-being of our planet, our people, and our economy. At ReFED, we are committed to:
We convene the food system and leverage the expertise and capabilities of individuals to collectively advance solutions.
We believe our work is enriched by an inclusive network of diverse and underrepresented voices that help us contribute to our mission.
We provide data that comes from identified sources, is grounded in accessible analyses, and serves as the foundation for impactful solutions.
We lead with an entrepreneurial spirit and approach problems and solutions with a strategic and economic mindset.
We are driven by purposeful action and seek observable results, judging our progress through the achievement of milestones large and small.
From the beginning, ReFED sought to bring new philanthropic and investment capital, along with technology, business, and policy innovation, to the food waste challenge.
ReFED launched in 2015 as a collaboration of more than 30 industry, nonprofit, foundation, and government leaders committed to reducing food waste in the United States. We were formed to create A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20 Percent, the first ever national economic analysis and action plan to tackle the issue at-scale. The first Roadmap was designed to fill the gap between awareness and action by creating transparency in the waste flows, costs, and opportunities of a more efficient food system. These frameworks and methodologies have been adopted or used by over 20 organizations, including Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Canada, Walmart, Deloitte, and Johns Hopkins University. ReFED has since evolved into one of the nation’s leading food waste organizations working to build a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system.
ReFED developed a core economic model to perform three analyses on the solutions in the Roadmap:
A total net societal “Economic Value” based on their cost-effectiveness per ton of waste.
The non-financial impacts of each solution – greenhouse gases reduced, water conserved, meals saved, and jobs created.
The business profit potential that the private sector could earn by investing in each solution.
Founder & Inaugural Board Chair
Jesse Fink is a venture philanthropist who has dedicated the past two decades to working on solutions to climate change and other environmental issues. Jesse and his wife, Betsy, first became interested in food waste as a solvable issue from their hands-on experience operating Millstone Farm, a farm Betsy established in Wilton, CT. They soon realized that reducing food waste at scale would have a game-changing impact on climate change, natural resource depletion, and food insecurity. In 2014, the Fink Family Foundation commissioned MissionPoint Partners, an impact investment management company, to create a roadmap for a systems-based approach to solving food waste in the United States. Through the hard work of a team of people and organizations, as well as the intellectual and financial support of philanthropic families, foundations, and corporations, this project led to the creation of ReFED in 2015. Jesse served as inaugural Board Chair of ReFED until 2020 and remains an active board member.
Equity & Inclusion
We believe that everyone has a seat at the table, and that this table always has room for growth. The success of our organization is rooted in the visible and invisible qualities of our people, who embody a variety of views, perspectives, and backgrounds to push the envelope of what’s possible and better meet the needs of our community in the hopes of building a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system. As stewards of this food system — one that benefits from the inclusion and enhancement of diverse voices — we recognize that systemic barriers limit opportunities for certain groups which contributes to ongoing disparities. Furthermore, we accept that our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) means a commitment to constant learning, listening, and iteration in all aspects of our work. Internally, we are updating our Human Resources processes, providing ongoing educational opportunities for our staff, and working to develop DEI project assessments for each project we take on. ReFED is grateful to the Fink Family Foundation which has provided a grant to fund some of our DEI program work in 2021. We still have a lot to do and learn in this area, but purposeful, meaningful action will get us steps closer to attaining this goal.
Beyond our passion for food, we’re a team of problem solvers, researchers, and strategists. Meet the people behind the work.