Starbucks sets goal to donate all unsold food to charity
The statistics are humbling for a nation with as much wealth as the United States. Today, roughly 48 million people, including more than 15 million children, live in food insecure households in this country.
Grocery retailers and foodservice operators have been among the leaders in the business community offering hope to food banks and charities whose mission it is to care for those without enough to eat. A case in point is Starbucks, which earlier this week announced the launch of FoodShare, a program to donate ready-to-eat meals to food banks in collaboration with Food Donation Connection and Feeding America.
The coffee giant expects to provide nearly five million meals to those in need in the first year of FoodShare. From there, the company has pledged to scale up the program over the next five years, reaching for a goal of donating 100 percent of unsold food in the U.S.
“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,” said Jane Maly, brand manager, Starbucks Food team, in a statement. “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.”
While helping to address hunger, Starbucks FoodShare will also help reduce food waste making its way into landfills. Feeding America estimates that roughly 70 billion pounds of food winds up as waste each year.
“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 U.S. and Americas. “FoodShare will not only make our partners proud, but once again will allow us to live our values.”
- Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics – Feeding America
- Starbucks Baristas Lead Nationwide Effort to Donate Meals through Feeding America – Starbucks
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the biggest impediments in the way of grocers and foodservice operators donating unsold food to charities? Will FoodShare benefit Starbucks when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees?