Partnership for Inclusive Innovation Awards Major Grant to Retaaza

February 24, 2022
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ATLANTA, February 24, 2022

Retaaza has been awarded a major grant from the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation (PIN) to further its work in the areas of food waste, food insecurity and sustainability.

Retaaza becomes part of PIN’s third cohort of Innovate for All grantees. With the ultimate goal of decreasing food waste and insecurity, Retaaza supports community farmers and feeds families that struggle with food insecurity through partnerships with community organizations. By supporting farmers, Retaaza helps to increase their economic stability while also decreasing the carbon footprint of produce that is dumped in landfills.

“We are grateful for the investment the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation is making in the improvement of food waste, access, and affordability through Retaaza,” said Kashi Sehgal, Founder and CEO of Retaaza.

Retaaza evolved out of the Georgia Innovates Task Force, an initiative of Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor. Through the task force, Retaaza Founder Kashi Sehgal, an Atlanta-based serial entrepreneur with a background in technology, community building and nonprofits, and Casey Cox, a 6th generation farmer and conservationist, joined forces to change the local food system model across Georgia. A women and minority owned enterprise, the company strives to make local food more affordable and accessible.

"Retaaza is uniquely Georgian and born out of the need to address one of the many issues highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sehgal. “Agriculture is Georgia’s top industry yet one in eight Georgians experience food insecurity. It's estimated that more than 2 million tons of food from farms is wasted in Georgia every year.  We are proud to directly financially support our communities’ farmers, reconnect consumers to their food and feed families struggling with food insecurity. What makes us different is that we bring security and stability to both ends of the supply chain by buying, selling and donating fresh local Georgia food. Think of us as a local food connector.”
“We grow fresh produce on our family farm,” said Casey Cox. “In the almost 40 years we’ve grown sweet corn, there have been countless seasons we’ve had to destroy a crop instead of harvest it due to poor market conditions. Just this spring, we had to leave 50 acres because the market price didn’t cover our cost of production, harvest labor and packaging.”

The support from PIN will help Retaaza continue to expand operations, work with more farmers and organizations, and create better access to healthy food throughout Georgia. Over the course of the “Fresh Food Forward” project with PIN, Retaaza aims to rescue 100,000+ pounds of food waste while donating nearly 20,000 pounds of food to families and individuals who need it most. With the Innovate for All funding, Retaaza will be able to start expanding operations from south Georgia to the rest of the state.

“Our Innovate for All awardees are dedicated to increasing and improving access, growth, and entrepreneurship all over Georgia. What they do here could serve as a blueprint or model for other parts of the country facing similar challenges,” said Debra Lam, the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation’s Executive Director.

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