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Starbucks announced a new plan to lower the food waste at its locations in the United States. The company said it is teaming up with Feeding America and Food Donation Connection in a program called FoodShare.
The program allows Starbucks to donate all its prepared meals that are leftover to different food banks. With the program, the FDC picks up food every day at over 7,600 Starbucks locations in the U.S. and then Feeding America redistributes it.
Starbucks Brand Manager Jane Maly explained that the biggest challenge was finding how to preserve the quality of the food during its delivery. She added that they focus on keeping the texture, flavor and temperature of the food so upon reaching a person who needed it, it could be enjoyed safely.
Starbucks said since 2010 it has worked with the FDC to donate pastries that are leftover. Now, the organization has found a way to add perishable goods safely to their pick up daily so that type of food will now be included in the donations.
According to members of Feed America, over 70 billion pounds of food each year in the U.S. is wasted. Starbucks said it is aiming to donate all 100% of the food it has left over at its participating stores.
It estimates that it will donate as much as 5 million meals when it completes its first full year of working with the FoodShare Program.
According to the coffeehouse chain, the idea came from the members of the chain. Like many of the company’s initiatives that have a social impact, the inspiration and innovation comes from those in our organization who are contributing and volunteering in their communities, said an executive with the coffee chain.
Starbucks said its people saw there was a need for more to be done and found a way to use the chain’s scale to bring more ready-to-eat and nourishing meals to those people who really need them.