Starbucks Takes On Food Deserts Armed With Day Old Food
Starbucks will stop throwing away unsold sandwiches, fruit, and cheese boxes and donate 100% of this food through a partnership with Food Donation Connection (FDC) and Feeding America (FA).
With all 7,600 of the company’s stores participating, Starbucks employees will collect the unsold food still safe to eat in refrigerated vans to be given to food banks.
The food to be donated includes:
• Breakfast sandwiches
• “Bistro Boxes”
• Prepackaged vegetables and hummus
This initiative is called FoodShare and its goal is to “provide five million meals in the first year and nearly 50 million by 2021, when it expects to reach a 100% donation rate.”
This is not the first time Starbucks and FDC have collaborated. Six years ago the 2 created a pathway for pastries to be distributed out to food banks.
Starbucks also has its sights on restaurants that would join them, so perhaps their leftovers could be added to Starbucks and eventually all the food waste in local cities would be diverted to FDC or FA.
Jane Maly, brand manager for the food team at Starbucks, explained: “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.”
The FoodShare programs intends to help end the food desert phenomenon happening all across the US. According to the American Nutrition Association (ANA) “food deserts are defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas … largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.”
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that there are nearly 23.5 million Americans living in food deserts. That number includes 6.5 million children who lack adequate access to “fresh produce and healthy food options” because there is an absence of grocery stores.
But this also includes the high levels of low-income parents who cannot afford to provide healthy food for their children because of financial constraints.
Some of the worst food deserts in America are located in cities such as:
• New Orleans
• San Francisco
• New York