Starbucks Program Donates Food

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Starbucks Program Donates Food

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

By Becky Wolfson, Online Arts Editor

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One in seven Americans struggle with hunger, and in the U.S. alone, 70 billion pounds of food are wasted annually. Starbucks recently announced they would begin adding perishable food to their pastry donation program, which the company began in 2010. Starbucks estimates that five million meals will be donated in the first year of their FoodShare program.

“This is a great program,” Starbucks Montgomery Mall shipping supervisor Greg Carrido said. “I felt bad that we had to toss food before and am glad the food can go to good use now. There is a lot of waste in the food industry, so I am glad this is for a good cause.”

Prior to the start of the FoodShare program, Starbucks’ employees were required to throw out all unsold perishable food every day if the items were past the ‘best by’ date. However, the food being thrown out was still safe to consume.

Currently, Starbucks has begun implementing the FoodShare program at only a few stores, but plans to spread the program to every one of their 7,600 U.S. stores by 2021.

“Right now we have received guidance on how to make sure the food is fresh, stored at the proper temperature and that there are no contaminants,” Carrido said. “We do not want to serve bad food to anybody.”

According to Carrido, Starbucks is still in the process of trying to find appropriate agencies to donate the food to within each store’s radius.

“I am thrilled to hear about Starbucks’ program and that such a large company is stepping forward to better our community,” said Environmental Club secretary and senior Gilbert Lau.

Lau hopes that Starbucks’ policy will inspire other companies to implement similar actions to reduce food waste.

Here at CHS, members of the Consumption Junction club are also addressing the issue of local hunger and food waste by collecting food prepared by students and donating it to homeless shelters.

“Starbucks has a fresh food reputation to uphold, but this means a lot of daily waste,” said Consumption Junction club member and senior Alexandra Conway. “For some of that waste to help the homeless is a definite win-win.”

Members of the Consumption Junction club make a pan of food for every food drive and bring it to a nearby shelter, similar to how Starbucks is donating their excess food at the end of each day.