Howard Schultz on Welfare & Poverty



FoodShare: Distribute unsold Starbucks items to food banks

In May, coffee giant Starbucks made headlines by announcing it would stop throwing out unsold food items and instead, redistribute the unsellable-but-still-edible products to nearby food banks in refrigerated vans. According to the goals of the new program, called FoodShare, Starbucks would provide five million meals in the first year and nearly 50 million by 2021, when it expects to reach a 100 percent donation rate. It's great that Starbucks is trying to reduce food waste, because the amount of food we Americans toss out has become a national epidemic.

Food waste is a national epidemic. Approximately 40 percent of food in the U.S. gets tossed out. It's is also an environmental issue: more than 97 percent of food waste ends up in landfills--33 million tons of food each year. Food waste is a pocketbook problem, a poverty, hunger, and health problem.

Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Huffington Post, "Reducing Food Waste" , May 9, 2016

Donates 8-day-old coffee beans to food banks

Starbucks managers have the power to allocate donations to local causes like ballet and opera companies, AIDS organizations, food banks, schools, and PTA's. In every city, all eight day old coffee beans are donated to food banks. Store managers also provide coffee for fund-raisers. One store in Seattle gives half its profits to the Zion Preparatory Academy, an African-American-run school for inner-city children. In fiscal 1996, we gave away more than $1.5 million in cash and kind, equaling about 4 percent of our net earnings. Since we don't exploit these actions for public relations, a lot of our customers don't even know about them.

Community giving is a policy to which we've been committed since we began in business. We do it because it's right and because it makes Starbucks partners proud to work here.

Source: Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz, p.281 , Jan 6, 1999

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Page last updated: Sep 23, 2016