Starbucks Canada Launches Program to Feed Homeless, Combat Food Waste

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Image Credit: istock.com/southtownboy

TORONTO — Starbucks Canada has launched a national program in an effort to provide meals to people in need, while also tackling the issue of food waste from its more than 1,100 company-owned stores.

The Starbucks FoodShare program follows a successful pilot project with Second Harvest — the largest food-rescue organization in Canada — and will launch in Ontario starting with more than 250 stores in the GTA by February 22.

“Wasted food is a wide-scale problem for everyone in the food business, while more than four-million Canadians are impacted by hunger,” says Luisa Girotto, vice-president of Public Affairs at Starbucks Canada. “This is unacceptable and we will help solve this now that we have a way to safely donate chilled, perishable food while preserving its quality.”

Starbucks is actively working to expand the program to even more cities and provinces, with a goal to have a national solution in place by 2021. In the past, Starbucks has invested in research and quality-assurance testing to develop a sector-leading program to safely donate chilled and perishable food to those in need.

Now, items such as breakfast sandwiches, paninis, protein boxes, salads, yogurt, milk and dairy alternatives will also be donated. Second Harvest will work with local community groups across the province to collect the food and ensure food-safety standards are being met.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Starbucks to support food recovery in local neighbourhoods to ensure people have the food they need to be healthy, while also making a positive impact on the environment,” says Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “We all have a part to play in reducing the social and environmental costs of food waste and it’s great to see Starbucks taking a leadership role.”

This new initiative follows previously announced plans to eliminate plastic straws and find sustainable cup solutions.

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