As food insecurity has increased among millions of Americans, Starbucks is stepping up to help combat the issue in its local communities.
The Seattle-based coffee company announced an expansion to its food donation program Friday that will roll out across the U.S. in all of its nearly 9,000 company-operated stores, which will donate any unsold food to those who need it most.
Starbucks will also donate $1.7 million in grants to the nonprofit Feeding America to advance equitable access to nutritious food for under-resourced communities. The nonprofit estimates that 42 million people, including 13 million children, may experience food insecurity this year.
Each grant will then be distributed to area food banks where Starbucks Community Stores are located. This new investment will build on the $2.69 million that the company invested in a food bank mobile pantry program in 2019 as part of an effort to help reach under-resourced communities.
The company said it will commit to reinvesting $100 million in hunger relief efforts over the next 10 years to reach even more households that may be experiencing food insecurity.
In the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity rose for millions of Americans and prompted new food assistance programs and attempts to reach and donate resources to the increasing number of famlies and individuals whose access to food became increasingly difficult due to the downturn of the economy, the loss of jobs and changes to daily life.
To date, Starbucks has contributed $45 million toward addressing hunger relief.
Camille Hymes, Starbucks' vice president of community, reiterated that the company is committed to hunger relief investment and efforts.
"We know food insecurity persists. Feeding America projects that 1 in 8 may experience food insecurity in 2021 due to economic impacts of COVID-19, and it is disproportionately affecting BIPOC communities," Hymes told "Good Morning America." "So we are committed to continuing this work and reinvesting $100 million in hunger relief efforts over the next 10 years to reach even more people facing food insecurity."
She added that Starbucks is "a people company focused on making our communities stronger."
In conjunction with Friday's announcement, Starbucks released a new multifaceted advertising campaign that features Starbucks' FoodShare program. The ad will be shared across Starbucks channels, television, and social media.