Earlier this year, Starbucks announced an initiative to reduce food waste nationwide and to date, they have donated over 300,000 local food banks. The program, Foodshare, aims to donate ready-to-eat meals to food banks from 7,600 company operated stores in collaboration with Food Donation Connection and Feeding America.
Starbucks talked about plans to scale the program in 5 years to retain not just a portion but all of the food available for donation from company operated stores. The plan would require research and quality assurance in order to ensure all food saved for donation would be up to par with existing food policies.
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Last week, Starbucks formally announced that Starbucks Foodshare Program is planning to launch nationwide ahead of schedule due to positive responses. Starbucks is pushing forward with the helping Feeding America and plan to have the program reach all participating U.S. stores in 3 years rather than 5.
“The response to Starbucks FoodShare has been so positive that we have determined we need to move even faster to serve more communities in need. Our store partners are telling us the need is urgent and we can do more.” John Kelly, Senior Vice President, Starbucks Global Responsibility, Community and Public Policy
A mere few months into the program, FoodShare has arranged for existing pickup for several Starbucks locations in the Midwest, Southern California and Arizona. Additionally, thousands of Starbuck workers have also contributed to the effort by helping to refrigerate and donate food as a part of their closing routine.
Starbucks isn’t the only major retailer working to resolve the issue of food waste, nationwide chains like Target and Walmart also donate millions of food by partnering with Feeding America. Whether you’re working for a restaurant chain, local chain or supermarket, the effort to stop food waste starts with you. Look into your store’s food waste program and policy and see if there are ways your location can start contributing to the effort. Food waste is not just a mass problem for those at work so make sure the habits and efforts integrate into your lifestyle. Spread the message to family and friends on how they can reduce food waste by properly storing food, learning about expiration dates and buying only what is needed.