In the last few years, Starbucks has significantly expanded its repertoire of breakfast and lunch foods other than pastries. What it hasn’t been able to do is figure out a consistent way to donate all of those salads and sandwiches so that they don’t go to waste. Founder and CEO Howard Schultz announced today in an interview that this is going to change.
Schultz explained in an interview on CNN today (warning: auto-play video at that link) that the company’s donation goal is 100% of its unsold food items. They will work with the Feeding America food bank network across the country to donate sandwiches and salads.
He explained that the real force behind the idea were the coffee chain’s baristas, who have the task of throwing away food every day and knew that there were better places than the trash for it to go.
“Our people just felt so badly. And this has been going on for quite some time,” he explained to CNN. “And so we started doing our homework — municipality by municipality.” With 7,000 stores, that’s a lot of homework.
Starbucks started using a pickup service to donate all of its unsold pastries six years ago, but perishable items are trickier. Their goal once the logistics issues are figured out is to donate 5 million meals in the coming year.