By Robert Sitt
According to “Feeding America”, 70 billion pounds of food are wasted in the U.S. every year. Starbucks will no longer be contributing to this waste. The coffee and snack giant says it plans to donate 100% of everything left over at its stores, which could amount to 5 million meals for the needy in the first year alone.
Starbucks has been donating their pastry foods to local food banks for years, but now they hope to donate all of their leftover food. Jane Maly, a brand manager for the company, said, “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.”
By joining forces with FoodShare, a program that is part of the Food Donation Connection and Feeding America networks, they found a way to effectively pick up and redistribute the food while still maintaining food safety and quality.
The company said that the idea came from their employees (or partners). Per ABC news, “The partners would say, ‘It hurts to throw perfectly good food in a landfill.’ [But] it took a couple years to get the food in a safe way to people in need.”
Prior to approval, there were a number of tests done to ensure the food would be safe. ABC noted that this included “transporting a sandwich in the middle of summer in Arizona and checking its temperature along the journey.”
Starbucks plans to provide upwards of 50 million meals to the underprivileged by 2021.They are also encouraging other companies to create similar programs.
Those who receive the food will still get to see the Starbucks’ labels on the food so they know where it’s coming from. Starbucks has 7,600 location in the United States.