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Starbucks Aiming to Donate 100 Percent of Surplus Food to Food Banks by 2021

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Starbucks has announced that the company will aim to donate 100 percent of the leftover food from its stores to food banks by 2021.

"In the first year alone, Starbucks® FoodShare will be able to provide nearly 5 million meals to individuals and families in need of nourishing food," according to the chain's news release on the program. By 2021, that would add up to 50 million meals.

In the release, Starbucks shared the story of Teva Sakima, an employee who is apparently one of "many partners (employees) who have wanted to feed people who face hunger by donating surplus food from Starbucks stores."

Sakima, who grew up in a family that often didn't have enough to eat, said "nobody should go to bed hungry."

"Like many of our social impact initiatives, the innovation and inspiration comes from our partners who are volunteering in and contributing to their communities," said John Kelly, senior vice president of Starbucks Global Responsibility, Community and Public Policy.

"They saw the need for us to do more, and find a way to use our scale to bring more nourishing and ready-to-eat meals to those in need."

Since 2010, Starbucks stores have donated pastries through the support of Food Donation Connection (FDC), a service provider that collects pastries at the company's stores after they can no longer be sold to customers.

For the new initiative, Starbucks worked with FDC to develop a safe process to add perishable food to the pick-up, which will be implemented in participating company-operated stores in the U.S. by this time next year.

"This food is going to make a difference, whether it's a child not going hungry for the night or a family that's able to enjoy a protein plate that they would not have otherwise been able to afford at Starbucks," said Kienan McFadden, a Starbucks store manager. "Rescuing food in this way from being thrown away will change lives. It makes me proud to know partners are the heroes in this."

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