Over the next year, Starbucks will roll out a food donation program at all 7,600 of its company-operated U.S. stores. The coffee giant hopes to donate 100 percent of its unused food by 2021.
The FoodShare program, announced last week, expects to provide 5 million meals to individuals and families across the U.S. in its first year. By 2021, Starbucks will aim "to rescue 100 percent of its food available for donation."
"When we thought about our vast store footprint across the U.S. and the impact we could make, it put a fire under us to figure out how to donate this food instead of throwing it away,” said Jane Maly, brand manager in the Starbucks Food division.
Since 2010, the company has donated unsold pastries through the Food Donation Connection (FDC), which manages food donation programs for companies across the globe. FDC will continue to work with Starbucks on the FoodShare program, which will also receive assistance from nonprofit group Feed America.
Feed America will pick up unused food in refrigerated vans and redistribute the food to its national network of food banks.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 14 percent of American families experienced food insecurity in 2014.
U.S. EPA figures indicate food scraps contributed to landfill volumes more than any other material in 2013. That year food made up 21 percent of discards by weight, and just 5 percent of food scraps were diverted in the U.S.