With so many incredibly important challenges facing our world today, thinking about where we invest our time and resources can be daunting. Food waste – and ReFED – are worth both.
Launched in 2016 to fill the information gaps that were stalling progress on the reduction of food loss and waste, ReFED is a young organization with an outsized impact on our food system. That we are a relatively new independent nonprofit organization makes our recent news even more impressive.
This summer, ReFED joined fewer than a quarter of nonprofits around the nation by earning the highest rating possible – four stars – from Charity Navigator, one of the most trusted sources for third-party verification of U.S. nonprofits. This rating designates ReFED as an official “Give with Confidence” charity, indicating that our organization is using its donations effectively based on Charity Navigator’s criteria. Charity Navigator is America’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator. Since 2001, the organization has been an unbiased source of information for more than 11 million donors annually, rating hundreds of thousands of charities each year.
The four-star rating results from ReFED’s scores of 100 on several important measures of a nonprofit’s operation – most notably financial efficiency, sustainability, and trustworthiness, along with a commitment to transparent governance practices and policies.
“This rating reflects our maturity as an organization, and demonstrates that we take accountability very seriously. The funds our donors and supporters provide are going to advance progress on food loss and waste, and it’s great to be recognized for stewarding these important resources effectively,” said Dana Gunders, Executive Director of ReFED and a member of the team that originally calculated the impact of food loss and waste on the U.S. economy and environment. “From the first report we wrote to the comprehensive analysis and tools we deploy to the food system today, our focus is on using our resources to address the crisis of food waste and build momentum for the organizations working across the country to build better food systems.”
ReFED has operated with a lean team of experts in food loss and waste, data management, and food business management. The team of just 22 is leading the national food loss and waste movement with ever-increasing impact:
- We released updated estimates on food loss and waste across the food system in April of this year and are now able to make annual releases a reality, assuring we are all tracking progress toward the U.S. goal of reducing our food loss and waste by 50% by 2030;
- We established and are raising funds for a re-granting fund that has deployed much-needed resources to 10 dedicated food waste organizations in just the last year;
- We have built the food loss and waste movement by serving as the thought leader on the issue, growing our engaged audiences, and holding convenings that elevate the topic; and
- We are a trusted advisor on policy development at all levels of government.
“All of our work is only possible because of the support of donors,” said Gunders, “and this affirmation should make it clear that we are a great investment in making a better future for all of us.”