Starbucks has announced it will donate all its leftover food to charity in an effort to provide meals for those who struggle with hunger and food insecurity. The announcement was made on the coffee chain’s website last Tuesday and we’d like to praise Starbucks for this positive decision.
The action, called FoodShare, is in collaboration with Food Donation Connection and Feeding America. With FoodShare, the chain coffee house will donate all unsold food from all 7,600 company stores in the United States to local food banks across the country. Starbucks expects to provide meals to approximately 5 million people through the program.
With more than 50 million Americans struggling to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FoodShare is a much-needed program. Of those 50 million people who struggle with hunger every day, 15 million are children, who live in food-insecure households – not knowing where their next meal will come from, or households where hunger is a constant concern.
According to Feeding America, 70 billion pounds of food goes to waste each year in America alone, so why shouldn’t more restaurants and households follow in Starbucks’ path?
Other big-name donors who put effort to alleviate hunger include the Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle and Yum! Brands (which owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.)
These participating chains are part of a significant movement that better society, and more restaurants should be involved.
Many restaurants cite liability as a reason for not donating surplus food because they do not want to be held responsible if someone were to fall ill after consuming their food. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects good faith donors from criminal and civil charges should something happen, as long as there was no “intentional misconduct.”
With the existence of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and an alarming number of hungry Americans, food donations from restaurants are a vital trend that should continue to grow.