The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Imperfect Foods' Reduced Cost Box Program

Finalist in Poverty & Hunger


At Imperfect Foods we’re on a mission to eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone. The belief that no one should be denied access to good and nutritious food has been baked into our business model since the beginning. While many of our offerings are priced at about 30% less than typical grocery store prices, for many folks that still isn’t affordable enough. And, while the government provides great programs (like SNAP) to help offset grocery prices, before the pandemic many of these programs could only be used at physical pay-points, and not online. 

So, we got to work and created our Reduced Cost Box Program to fill the gap ourselves. In existence since 2015, our Reduced Cost Box Program offers those who meet the income qualifications for SNAP to apply for a subscription with Imperfect Foods, taking an additional 33% off the cost of each order, every time—ultimately allowing access to fresh produce and groceries to those who need it most. 

Through our Reduced Cost Box Program, qualifying Imperfect Foods customers are able to buy groceries for less than half of what it would cost at the grocery store. Financially, the company takes a loss on these orders, but continues to run the program because we believe that it’s important to make good food more accessible to everyone, regardless of income.

Strategy and Execution

Imperfect Foods is dedicated to driving food access and removing the barriers that some may face to get good and nutritious food to their table each and every day. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Imperfect Foods knew that their services, and especially their Reduced Cost Box Program, would be needed now more than ever. To ensure that all high-risk and vulnerable communities of Americans have safe access to groceries throughout the pandemic, Imperfect Foods partnered with Kroger under the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation to expand their reduced-cost box program to communities in need. 

The new pilots implemented by this partnership included a Senior Discount COVID-19 response fund, which waived delivery fees for customers over the age of 65 who already qualify for the Reduced Cost Box Program as well as a pilot test in Chicago of a 50% reduced cost box offering for those who qualify for SNAP benefits. By offering free delivery and additional discounts to those who qualified for either program, Imperfect Foods was able to relieve a stressful burden for many by delivering healthy food at an affordable price during stay-at-home orders. 



Entrant Company / Organization Name

Imperfect Foods