Food waste was one of the most talked about issues in 2015. Apparently, Starbucks has gotten the message, announcing a program that the company hopes will allow them to donate all its unused food to charity.
Starbucks is crediting the program, FoodShare, to vocal employees but the implementation has taken a lot of work behind the scenes. “The idea sounds simple, but food safety policies required baristas to discard salads, sandwiches and other refrigerated items after the designated expiration date even if the food could still be consumed,” the coffee giant said on its website announcing the plan last month. But after “investing in research and quality assurance testing to develop a way to safely donate fresh food,” Starbucks says they’ve officially launched the program across all 7,600 company-owned stores in the US.
In the first year alone, FoodShare hopes to supply nearly 5 million meals to the needy through partnerships with Food Donation Connection and Feeding America. Within five years, Starbucks hopes this program will have been ramped up to the point where it will “rescue 100 percent of its food available for donation,” almost 50 million meals by 2021.
Many fast food chains have jumped on trendy causes recently – things like cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free meat. Causes such as these are good for our health, the environment and animal welfare, but they don’t keep people from going hungry, a battle the USDA says 50 million Americans fight every day. Let’s hope more restaurants jump on this important charitable bandwagon.
Added bonus: Next time you need a reason to fight a Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie craving, you can tell yourself that your self-restraint is for a good cause.