Starbucks the global coffee chain has announced to donate unsold meals to hungry and needy people in United States.
The cafe chain has been investing in research and quality assurance testing to develop a way to safely donate fresh food.
Starbucks has announced FoodShare – a program to donate ready-to-eat meals to food banks from its 7,600 company-operated stores in the US.
“Like many of our social impact initiatives, the innovation and inspiration comes from our partners who are volunteering in and contributing to their communities,” said John Kelly, senior vice president, Starbucks Global Responsibility, Community and Public Policy. “They saw the need for us to do more, and find a way to use our scale to bring more nourishing and ready-to-eat meals to those in need.”
Initially, this will be accomplished through an existing collaboration with Food Donation Connection and a new partnership with Feeding America.
In the first year alone, Starbucks FoodShare will be able to provide nearly 5 million meals to individuals and families in need of nourishing food.
Starbucks intends to scale this program over the next five years and rescue 100 percent of its food available for donation from participating company-operated US stores. That amounts to almost 50 million meals by 2021.
In addition to feeding people who struggle with hunger, diverting food surplus from landfills furthers Starbucks goal to minimize the company’s environmental footprint and inspire other companies to do the same. With an estimated 70 billion pounds of food waste in America each year, according to Feeding America, Starbucks hopes to encourage other businesses to put a focus on food rescue.
“Our hope is by taking this first step, other companies will see the possibility for their participation and together we will make great strides in combating hunger,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, Starbucks US and Americas. “FoodShare will not only make our partners proud, but once again will allow us to live our values.”