Food left unsold at the end of the day at all Seattle Starbucks stores — including breakfast sandwiches, panini, salads and baked goods — will be donated to those in need, the company said as it unveiled a program that launches Thursday.

Share story

Food left unsold at the end of the day at all Seattle Starbucks stores — including breakfast sandwiches, panini, salads and baked goods — will be donated to those in need, the company said as it unveiled a program that launches Thursday.

The company’s FoodShare program, in which unsold food available for donation goes to nearby food banks and food-rescue organizations, began as a pilot program in San Diego in 2015. In partnership with Feeding America, a hunger-relief network, the FoodShare program has since expanded to 13 other cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

In Seattle, where Starbucks is working with Food Lifeline on the program, the rollout began last month with 235 stores participating. All 270 stores in the Seattle area are expected to be participating by the official launch Thursday. The company estimates that those stores will generate 1.1 million donated meals a year.

Food Lifeline will distribute the donated Starbucks food to neighborhood agencies in the Puget Sound area.

In Washington state in 2015, 12.9 percent of households were food insecure, meaning they did not have consistent access to adequate food, according to Food Lifeline.

Starbucks stores in Seattle in the past have made donations of surplus food but they weren’t part of a formal program and the donations didn’t include all the stores, Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges said.

In the cities where the company operates the FoodShare program, Starbucks estimates it has donated more than 3 million meals. Its goal is to donate all donatable surplus foods from all 8,000-plus U.S. company-operated stores by 2020.