The coffee giant estimates its FoodShare program will donate 5 million meals by the end of the year.
News of Starbuck’s new Caramelized Honey Latte may have grabbed my attention this morning, but it was another headline that kept it: The company has announced the Starbucks FoodShare program, which will help feed the hungry and curb food waste.
Through FoodShare, all of Starbucks 7,600 company-operated stores in the United States will donate ready-to-eat meals to food banks through the company’s existing relationship with Food Donation Collection and a new partnership with Feeding America.
The company already has been donating leftover pastries through the Food Donation Connection since 2010, but it did not have a method to donate perishable food that needed to be refrigerated.
Starbucks can immediately begin donating perishable food to Feeding America because the nonprofit has refrigerated vans that can pick up the food and distribute it each day. The organization is the country’s largest domestic hunger-relief and food-rescue nonprofit, and already works with companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Walmart.
The next step is to create a method by 2017 to donate perishables to Food Donation Collection.
By the end of 2016, Starbucks estimates it will have donated 5,000 ready-to-eat meals to those in need. It will also save many of those 5,000 meals from ending up in the landfill, helping the company reach the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s food waste reduction goal, which encourages charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Starbucks falls under the private sector.
“This food is going to make a difference, whether it’s a child not going hungry for the night or a family that’s able to enjoy a protein plate that they would not have otherwise been able to afford at Starbucks,” Kienan McFadden, a Starbucks store manager, said in the online announcement. “Rescuing food in this way from being thrown away will change lives. It makes me proud to know our partners are the heroes in this.”