Starbucks is getting into the charity business.
The coffee-chain company has pledged to donate 100 percent of its unused food items from the more than 7,600 locations across the United States to food banks as part of the “Foodshare” program.
Starbucks estimates that it will be able to deliver 5 million meals in the first year of the program, and 50 million by 2021.
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 at Starbucks.
According to Starbucks partner Feeding America, more than 70 billion pounds of food are wasted in the United States each year. The organization hopes that the example set by Starbucks will encourage other businesses to cooperate with food banks and help the needy.
— Tim Fargo (@alphabetsuccess) March 19, 2016
“We applaud Starbucks for its leadership and commitment to ending hunger. Their program will have a tremendous impact in communities, and it is also a testament of how we can work together to help more individuals and families achieve food security,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America.
Existing food safety policies mean that Starbucks has to do extensive research on how to keep the perishable meals fresh when it was being distributed through the food banks.
The company already has experience with food donation via its partnership with the Food Donation Connection to which they have donated unused pastry since 2010.