Starbucks US Plans To Hand Out 100% Of Its Unsold Goods To Food Banks

The fight against food waste has found itself an extremely valuable ally. On Tuesday 22 March, Starbucks announced the creation of a programme aiming to donate 100% of the chain's leftover food to those in need.

Titled "Food Share", the system will distribute any food left unsold in store to various food banks. For the moment, the initiative will only be put into work in the United States. 

Currently, the coffee giant counts 7,600 outlets across the US. At the end of each day, a refrigerated van will arrive to take away all the products that can no longer be sold but which are still entirely edible. To do so, Starbucks will be working in partnership with food bank charities Food Donation Connection and Feeding America.

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(Starbucks / Instagram)

(Photo: Starbucks / Instagram)

50 million meals by 2021

In a press release, the company explains that it has been donating leftover pastries to Food Donation Connection since 2011. Food Share plans to extend this initiative to include sandwiches, salads and any other refrigerated item that is past its sell-by date, but is still safe for consumption. Brand manager at Starbucks Food team, Jane Maly, states:

 

"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."

 

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The Seattle-born enterprise also reminds us of the shocking extent of the issue: "With an estimated 70 billion pounds of food waste in America each year, according to Feeding America, Starbucks hopes to encourage other businesses to put a focus on food rescue."

Starbucks promises to distribute 5 million meals this year alone. The long-term objective is more ambitious with the coffeehouse aiming to hand out 50 million meals by 2021. Let's hope that the initiative makes its way over the Atlantic to help bump these figures up.

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By Ariane Nicolas, published on 23/03/2016

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