Mike Blake/Reuters

Starbucks Will Help Fight Hunger By Donating All Unsold Food To US Charities

Following in the footsteps of UK-born organic food chain Pret A Manger, Starbucks will soon begin donating all unused foods to those in need, Mashable reports.

On Tuesday, the coffee giant issued a press release to introduce its new FoodShare initiative, a program that will see the company donate 100 percent of its leftover, ready-to-eat meals and perishable items to food banks throughout the country.

Developed in collaboration with Feeding America and Food Donation Connection, the new initiative aims to ease the burden on the some 48 million Americans who frequently struggle to feed themselves or their families.

To put that number in perspective, approximately 15 percent of the country — 1 in 7 Americans — are considered “food insecure.”

Despite the staggering number of Americans living without regular access to food, the country generates a whopping 70 billion pounds of food waste annually, according to Feeding America (though the real number may be as high as 133 billion, according to other estimates, or a full 40 percent of all food produced annually).

By donating leftover foods instead of throwing them out at the end of the day, Starbucks hopes to make a positive impact on both the food-waste issue and the growing hunger crisis.

In the press release, Starbucks Store Manager Kienan McFadden praised the planned program, saying,

This food is going to make a difference, whether it's a child not going hungry for the night or a family that's able to enjoy a protein plate that they would not otherwise have been able to afford at Starbucks. Rescuing food in this way from being thrown away will change lives.

All 7,600 of Starbucks' US stores will be participating in the FoodShare initiative, which should be fully implemented within the next five years. The company estimates it will be able to donate no less than 5 million meals within the first year of the program.

For further details, check out the official press release.

Citations: Starbucks will start donating 100% of its unused food to those in need (Mashable)