The U.S. EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy ranks feeding hungry people near the top of its priorities as a strategy to reduce wasted food. In Massachusetts, the amount of rescued and donated food increased by over 20% between 2014 and 2017 as individual businesses and chains partnered with food rescue organizations across the state. Milford Daily News recently reported on the work that Milford Starbucks and Panera Bread operations are doing to feed the local community by donating edible food.
Each week, representatives from the Salvation Army pick up over 350 items – including pastries, bagels, and bread – from the Milford Panera Bread location through their Day-End Dough-Nation program. The goods are distributed to other community organizations such as the Milford food pantry, shelters, and senior centers. Similarly, the Starbucks at Milford Crossing partners with the Milford food pantry, schools, and churches to donate sandwiches and pastries twice a week as part of the company’s national FoodShare program. Starbucks also leaves coffee grounds out front for community members to incorporate into their own composting and landscaping. By implementing programs to donate edible food, these businesses help to alleviate the food insecurity that 1 in 11 Eastern Massachusetts residents experience.
RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) has developed resources to help businesses and institutions establish successful food donation programs, including Food Donation Guidance and case studies featuring food donation programs at The Lenox Hotel in Boston, as well as The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and Whole Foods in Medway. To learn more about our no-cost assistance, or to speak with a food waste expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.