Starbucks has announced a new plan to donate unused, ready-to-eat meals from its 7,600 stores across the country to food banks.
In a Tuesday press release, the Seattle-based coffee shop chain revealed a program called FoodShare to help feed the more than 50 million Americans who struggle to avoid hunger every day.
The collaboration will also involve Food Donation Connection and Feeding America.
Starbucks will provides 5 million free meals by end of year
The company estimates that by the end of the first year alone, it will provide more than 5 million free meals.
‘When we thought about our vast store footprint across the U.S. and the impact we could make, it put a fire under us to figure out how to donate this food instead of throwing it away,’ Starbucks Food team Brand Manager Jane Maly said.
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‘The challenge was finding a way to preserve the food’s quality during delivery. We focused on maintaining the temperature, texture and flavor of the surplus food, so when it reached a person in need, they could safely enjoy it.’
Starbucks plans to scale the program over the next five years, and hope by 2021, they will provide almost 50 million meals.
‘Growing up, (my family) always ate dinner together,’ shift supervisor Teva Sakima said in a video shared by Starbucks. ‘There was a time where we didn’t have enough money for food …. Nobody should go to bed hungry or start the day hungry. It’s not okay.’
Starbucks said it hopes its new initiative helps inspire other businesses to put a focus on food rescue.