Through a brilliant new initiative, Starbucks has pledged to donate 100% of its unsold food items to the needy. The announcement was made in a press release earlier this week, in which a partnership between Feeding America, a non-profit organization, Food Donation Connection, and Starbucks was outlined. This advancement allows the massive corporation to donate all perishable ready-to-eat meals and bistro boxes to food banks across the country.
According to Feeding America, 1 out of 7 people are affected by hunger issues, yet an estimated 70 billion pounds of food is wasted each year in America. Starbucks’ initiative hopes to help change those numbers. The two collaborating organizations are set to pick up food items from Starbucks locations around America in refrigerated vans and deliver the meals to donation agencies and food banks. The entire process–from the store to those in need–will be completed in under 24 hours.
This progressive step forward has been years in the making, but was hindered due to the issues that arise when donating perishable food. Temperatures must be maintained within a strict range in order to ensure food safety. This isn’t an issue for products such as pastries, which Starbucks has been giving away for years, but for foods that go bad quickly, it makes it harder to get the products to hungry citizens in time.
The push for new policies to address the waste came from Starbucks employees, who took it upon themselves to challenge the corporation to make a change. “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,” Starbucks store manager Kienan McFadden explained in the release. “Rescuing food … from being thrown away will change lives.”