The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

Catalyze Your Potential to Drive Impact

Take a bold step to enact systems-level change to ensure we’re making the best use of the food we grow with the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund – an initiative targeted to provide nonprofit and for-profit organizations with up to a total of $20 million in recoverable and non-recoverable grants to de-risk and scale high-impact solutions to food waste.

Catalytic funding is a critical lever in the fight against food waste, and this Grant Fund is designed to help organizations overcome system-level barriers, de-risk innovations, and solve agency problems – ultimately stimulating larger amounts of future funding from more traditional sources.

About the fund

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

ReFED’s analysis of current financial and industry data shows that $14 billion in annual funding is needed to accelerate and scale solutions to food waste to reach national and international goals to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030. Of that total, $3 billion is needed in risk-tolerant and flexible catalytic funding to help unlock impact.

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund is designed to target a raise of $20 million in philanthropic funding to scale high-impact solutions to food waste – and over its life, the Grant Fund and its grantees will aim to have a significant impact on the diversion of food waste; the reduction of GHG emissions; the rescue of healthy, culturally-appropriate meals for those in need; and the saving of natural resources.

The Grant Fund Aims
to Achieve $20M Grants over five years aiming to achieve

How The Fund Works

The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund distributes recoverable and non-recoverable grants to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations across the food waste solution spectrum – from prevention to rescue to recycling – and will consider initiatives including, but not limited to, research, general operations, capacity-building, pilots, and convenings.

In addition to funding, ReFED will provide non-financial support to applicants and grantees of the Grant Fund whenever possible, through activities such as:

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Featuring organizations actively fundraising in ReFED’s Deal Flow Report for the Food Waste Funder Circle

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Making tailored introductions to other solution providers and prospective partners

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Providing feedback and thought partnership on strategy, initiatives, pitch decks, etc.

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Amplifying the work of organizations through ReFED’s channels, including social media, the Capital & Innovation Market Update newsletter, speaking engagements, and the Food Waste Action Network

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Current Open Call Thematic Focus Area

As a group, consumers are the largest generators of food waste – and while there are solutions and innovations 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, they need funding. To bolster these solutions, the 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 particular thematic focus is to get consumers to take action. To that end, broad consumer food waste education and awareness campaigns will not be considered for this open call.

Eligibility Criteria

We welcome organizations of all sizes – ranging from early-stage to established – that meet the eligibility criteria outlined below to apply!

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Are applying on behalf of a benefit corporation, for-profit company, public-private partnership, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, or fiscally-sponsored project headquartered and/or operating in the U.S.

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As a result of receiving a grant from ReFED, will very likely receive additional capital from other funders and/or advance its impact, often in a way that would not otherwise have been possible without a ReFED grant

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Can put to eligible use at least $100,000 or more within an approximately two-year grant period

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Will use the requested funding for an initiative related to the Grant Fund’s current thematic focus

The application and selection process takes ~4 months and goes through the following phases:


Interested applicants submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Target deadline:



Select applicants will be invited to submit a Full Application.

Notification Date:


Application Process

An Independent Review Committee evaluates the submissions and selects the finalists


Jan - Feb 2023


The Grant Fund Selection Committee will consider the finalists and make a decision on who receives funding.

Target Review Period:

March 2023


Grantees will be notified.

Notification Date:


Selection Process

Selection Criteria

Submissions will be considered based on the following selection criteria.
For more details on the selection criteria, follow this link.

Initiative Impact Potential

Will the initiative for which the applicant is seeking funding enable consumers to actively reduce wasted food at home, as well as in restaurant and foodservice settings, by making it obvious, affordable, and convenient, while also mitigating any potential negative environmental and social impacts?

Catalytic Potential

Can a grant from ReFED combined with non-financial support unlock additional funding and/or advance the applicant’s impact, often in a way that would not otherwise have been possible?

Organizational Impact Track Record

Does the applicant have a demonstrated ability to create a positive impact, based on metrics relevant to the applicant, and to thoughtfully consider and address potential negative environmental and social impacts?

Team & Implementation Potential

Does the team and board leading the initiative for which they are seeking funding have lived experience directly related to the initiative, as well as relevant skills, knowledge, and resources that will enable them to successfully execute the use of funds?

Thank you for your interest in the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund! We are no longer accepting submissions for this open call. To stay updated on future open calls, please complete the sign-up form below.

Contact Us

Meet the Current Independent Review Committee

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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 that serves an integral part of the broader team managing the Grant Fund. By becoming a member of the Independent Review Committee, individuals are joining a select and diverse group that will contribute to the overall Fund 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

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Contribute to the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

We are deeply grateful to our anchor funder, Google, and all other donors who share our mission and vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive food system. If you would like to learn more about the Fund and discuss a contribution, please email Alexandria Coari at or enter your information in the form below.

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The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund provides nonprofit and for-profit organizations with recoverable and non-recoverable grants to de-risk and scale high-impact solutions to food waste and is proud to support the following grantees:

Upcycled Food Association is a nonprofit focused on convening, connecting, and growing awareness of the power of upcycling to fight food waste.

Learn More

Food Recovery Network is a nonprofit growing their proven model of donation coordination and matching with a DEIJ lens.

Learn More

Hidden Gems is a for-profit business which offers a solution to recycle the 800M pounds per year of nutrient-rich avocado pits that currently go into landfill.

Learn More

Stay Updated On The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund!

ReFED will 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

Sign Up to Receive Updates about The ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund 

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